A friend asked me if I had any advice on how to talk to kids about racism in the midst of all of these current events.
Right away, I didn’t have words, only tears.
See, I don’t even know how to bring myself to tell my kids that their lives will look different than mine because of the color of their skin. I don’t know how to start conversations that could ultimately end in breaking their innocent hearts. I don’t know what to say to my children. Because they are the ones that will deal with hate, not because of who they are on the inside, but because of what they look like on the outside.
We had some sweet kiddos over yesterday, and as I was going through these emotions of thinking about what to say about racism to my own children, I was watching these precious kiddos, from two different races, play without any idea they were different. Of course they notice things like curly hair and straight hair, darker skin and lighter skin. But they don’t think one type of hair is better than the other, and they don’t think one color of skin is better than the other! They know, because they’ve been taught by their parents, to love others and be kind.
My friend told me that she talked to her kids about this, not to scare them, but to make them aware of how awful this is. Her kiddos are some of my kids’ best friends! And she told them, “if you ever see anyone being mean to your friends, you stand up for them! Do not let mean people hurt your friends!”
And as I allowed my tears to flow last night before bed, I came to this simple conclusion. You need to teach your kids to love others. The hate against a different race is real in our country, and we can’t hide that from our children. We need them to be aware there is an issue. But, we need them to know they can help make a change! They can stand up for their friends of color, they can show love and not judgement, they can include others from different races, and they will be better for it!
Hate towards a different race is not naturally in our hearts. That’s taught to us. But we can’t let history continually repeat itself! We have to teach our children that hate towards anyone will never win. Hate will only cause more disruption and chaos. Love wins, every time! And not one color of skin is better than the other!
And one more thing, to those with white babies, you have to teach your kids to not be afraid of a different race! Being afraid of someone because they look different, is a huge part of the problem! You might not be racist, but you have prejudice thoughts about a different skin color, and if that is passed on to your kiddos, it continues the cycle. We have to start assuming that there is good in everyone! Let’s stop judging people by the way the look! Let’s show people grace by giving them a chance to show us who they are! This is not the fight of just one race, we have to link arms and let each other know that we're in this together!