Question: How Did You Discuss Racism with Your Kids?
Is it ever too soon to introduce racism to your toddler?
When I first heard about this Rosa Parks children’s book (on one of my favorite podcasts), I knew I had to pick up a copy for Avery.
It’s a pretty good book; it covers the standard Rosa Parks life story, but it also doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the racism she and all people of color faced before and during the civil rights movement. It got me thinking…is it ever too soon to introduce racism to your toddler?
My daughter is three years old, and for the first three years of her life, she’s been in a small home daycare, with a great group of diverse kids: white, Hispanic, and Asian.
When we started reading the Rosa Parks book, I wondered how she would process this information. It was a new concept to her: someone treating a person badly because of the color of their skin. Would she bring the topic up at daycare? Try to talk to her white friends about racism? Would she look at them differently?
As a parent, sometimes it’s tough figuring out the appropriate amount to share, and when. I’ve always known that I want my kids to be educated, but I also don’t want them to be unnecessarily burdened at a young age.
What do you think? When will you start discussing race and racism with your kids?
NOTE: Top image from the Fresh Prince episode, “Mistaken Identity.” Carlton’s first experience with racism and racial profiling. Do you think Uncle Phil was slipping by not introducing Carlton to these realities earlier?