Kids and Race: Why, When, and How to Talk About It
June 3, 2020
Talking about race with young children can feel difficult to do, but it’s important to have open dialogue between you and your child.
Experts have found that children notice race from a young age; open conversations and guidance can help them to interpret the world around them, including the messages they may be seeing in the media.
They’re not too young to talk about race!
|0||At birth, babies look equally at faces of all races. At 3 months, babies look more at faces that match the race of their caregivers.|
|2||Children as young as two years use race to reason about people’s behaviours.|
|4||Expressions of racial prejudice often peak at ages 4 and 5.|
|5||By kindergarten, children have learned to associate some groups with a higher status than others.|
|6+||Explicit conversations with 5-7 year olds about being friends with people of other races can quickly improve their racial attitudes.|
These resources can help to start the conversation.
For tips on how to have conversations about race with children, check out this article and podcast.
This Canadian article outlines the importance of talking about race early and gives some simple steps parents can take to start.
Find blogs, books, podcasts and workshops to support adults who are trying to talk about race with young kids.
This list is designed to help parents of all backgrounds talk to and guide their children about race early and often.
This video offers some practical steps you can incorporate into your daily routine to bring up race in a positive way.
“In addition to keeping an open dialogue about racism, a way to raise children who are anti-racist is by making sure your home library has books with black people at the center of their stories.” The New York Times has put together this list of books for children at every stage, from infancy to the teen years.
Books are a great way to introduce children to different kinds of stories and perspectives—there’s a reason reading is linked to empathy! Here are some of our favourite children’s books that celebrate diversity.
Be sure to follow @hereweeread on Instagram for more diverse book recommendations and tips on raising curious and race conscious kids.