First the Coronavirus and now this! How to we explain all that chaos to our young children? Well…. I would be completely ridiculous if I told you that there is an easy way to explain to children what is happening in the world.
But there are thoughtful people who have something to say about how parents can recognize and discuss the issues underlying this week’s nationwide protests, while continuing to bring joy to their families. At this age, children will be able to think more abstractly about racism, injustice, violent and peaceful protests and discuss their views with their parents, experts say. As any parent of a teenager will attest, direct questioning of teenagers can produce constructive responses, even in the face of their parents’ concerns. Parents can create frames based on their child’s age and use films and documentaries to educate older teenagers about the history of discrimination. Common Sense Media has films that address racism and inspire children to change the world, and that can be used to “educate children about how we can help combat racism.
The best thing parents can do is solidify their child’s worldview at that age, for example, by saying how important a preschool black child is, or that their skin is beautiful, or their hair is “beautiful.” Parents of color should be encouraged to expose their children to the outside world, Radesky said.
You should also strengthen your children for kindergarten and primary school children and have more open conversations. When your child is in middle school, spend time to give them as much information and perspectives as possible so that they do not forget it over time. You can start using the term “racism” if you have not done so yet and allow your child to ask questions and share their experiences. You should still talk about fairness, but by the time your child enters middle school, you can say that most minority children have experienced something, even if they may not be able to put it into words.
There will also be stereotypes that are unfortunately shown on television and social media, and most older children will have access to news and graphic images. They will probably experience some of them, but most of them will not have experienced them. We need to be aware of what is happening out there and take steps to talk to our children about what they can hear or see. The reality is that they will hear about major crises and events, but not necessarily positively.
As the COVID 19 crisis continues to unfold, many parents are wondering how they can talk to their children about the effects of the virus in a way that is reassuring rather than worrying them than they may already be. With so much air, children inevitably have questions they might not have asked before. It is best to hear from parents and caretakers, not children and the media, please do your how work.
When something big happens in the world, such as an election or a natural disaster, older children are more likely to hear the news first and discuss it as they would hear it. They will process it all in their own way and probably come back to it when they must talk. We try to take preventive action to ensure that our messages and values are important to them and that they listen to news from around the world and participate in the discussion as the oldest children would have heard them.
It is also worthwhile to teach children the best way to discuss these topics when they inevitably show up during the break or in class. Parents, especially those with black children, need to have honest conversations about police brutality. Parents also need to give their children a broader social context for racism while trying to explain the protests that have filled city streets across the country with demonstrators, Radesky says. Every now and then we should talk to our children about something that is profoundly unfair.
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