Tough Discussions: Talking to Kids about Racial Violence and Tolerance

Dec 17, 2020
Written by: Lynn McReynolds THREE RESOURCES FOR TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT RACIAL VIOLENCE AND TOLERANCE   In a few weeks kids will be going back to school – after a summer filled with terrorist attacks, and senseless race-based killings. As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, we all struggle with what to say, how much to say and/or, depending on the age of our children, whether to say anything at all in an effort to try and help them make sense of what our kids may be seeing and hearing in the traditional media and on social media. But there’s little doubt that we need to say something, even if our kids are young – otherwise, we are ceding control to someone else, because they will have the discussion – with a friend, a friend’s parent, a teacher’s aide, or a casual acquaintance. If that’s the case, then how do we best communicate the message of slain Baton Rouge police officer Montrell Jackson, who took to Facebook shortly before his own senseless death to say, “Please don’t let hate infect your heart”?
Don’t feel like you need to figure out the answer all on your own. There are a number of resources available for parents and educators – to help provide some guidance to adults on how best to talk to children about racial violence and the importance of diversity and tolerance. We have included three of them below: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/talking-to-kids-about-racial-violence/ http://www.ncpc.org/topics/hate-crime/diversity https://www.splcenter.org/teaching-tolerance   “We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences don’t make us weak. They’re the source of our strength.” – Jimmy Carter “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou   Please, let us know about your own experiences with the discussions you’ve had with your kids and what worked and didn’t work.

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