I pulled today’s episode about talking to kids about skin tone and race from the 3 in 30 archives. It was originally recorded and aired in 2019, and a lot has happened in the world since then.
Maybe like me, you learned a lot more about racial injustice in the year 2020 and have been looking for great resources to continue this conversation with your children.
Having conversations with children about skin tone and race from a young age is so important, and many of us who are part of the white racial category like I am do not have experience with this.
I honestly think that when I recorded this episode back in 2019, it was the first time that I ever had an explicit conversation about skin tone and race in my entire life, and I was 35 years old. Our kids deserve better than that and so does our world, because as we talk openly about skin tone and race, we deweaponize it and demystify it. Only then can we actually start to dismantle racism in ourselves and the world around us.
Let’s make these conversations easier for our children to have by giving them the words and the tools they need to understand race and racism so they can become better change agents than we have been able to be. And let’s do this work right alongside them, because it is not too late for us to become better advocates and stewards of our world.
1) Reject the “colorblind” approach as a solution to racism. Pretending that you don’t see color, or pretending that your children don’t see it, actually stigmatizes race more to your children…it makes them feel like they can’t talk about it and it robs them of the language they need in order to understand varied human experiences.
2) Normalize conversations about skin tone and race with your children so they can consciously, fluently, and confidently navigate our hyper-racialized society. Explain melanin to them as well as the significance of where our ancestors lived and how that impacts the amount of melanin we have in our skin. When children ask questions about skin tone that make us feel a bit uncomfortable, remember not to shame them but to ask for more information and then learn together.
3) Invest in an anti-racism education to gain understanding, rather than just relying on informal discussions. With education, the topic of race is de-weaponized, and a great place to start with education for parents and children is Dr. Berry’s organization Brownicity and her new workbook for children, Hues of You.
>>>Are these tips for how to talk to kids about skin tone and race helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.
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- Book: Hues of You by Dr. Lucretia Berry
- To find children’s books on this topic, please visit: https://3in30podcast.com/books/
- Course to help children develop positive, inclusive language and a framework: Let’s Learn About
- Episode 101: Why & How to Talk to Your Kids About Skin Tone and Race // Dr. Lucretia Berry
-Related Episodes about How to Talk to Kids About Skin Tone-
- Episode 113: Teaching Your Kids About Racism and Bias // Jasmine Bradshaw
- Episode 133: Answering Your Questions about “Color Blindness” and Race // Dr. Lucretia Berry and Jasmine Bradshaw
- Episode 165: The True Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior // Mike and Emily Green