When George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, it ignited a nationwide cry for true equality for all Black Americans. As individuals across the United States call for lasting change, it can be difficult to know how to talk to your child about racism, bias, and prejudice in an age-appropriate way. To help you start these important conversations, we’ve compiled this list of resources. Each of the following books and conversation starters will help you talk about racism in a sensitive, appropriate way that your child is capable of grasping.
This is a great list of books that help support learning about diversity broken down by age appropriateness. Books are for ages 3 and up.
Professor Beverly Daniel Tatum’s TEDxStanford Talk on early experiences with race. Professor Tatum is an African-American mother of two sons and discusses her experience discussing race with her son when he was 3 years old. This is an interesting talk centered on how kids notice physical differences and how we can and should address them, instead of trying to ignore them.
Some tips and strategies for parents about how to approach difficult conversations about race with your children.
Helpful 20 minute conversation focused on a number of things parents can do to expose their children to diversity. NPR interviewed Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, and Professor Beverly Daniel Tatum, a thought leader in higher education.
Some wonderful tips for teaching tolerance to your children.
A list of great books that address racism for your family to encourage hard conversations and important learning. Books are listed with age recommendations, which is helpful.
Sweet song that features a puppet with an Afro singing about how much she loves her hair and all of the things she can do with it. For any child, it can help start a conversation about different types of hair and how it is all beautiful.
This classic video is something that many of us grew up watching and is now more relevant than ever. One of the classic Sesame Street songs with diverse images that teaches children that although people may look different, they are all the same inside. Great for all little ones.
A downloadable guidebook for parents to talk with their kids about tolerance. The guide is broken down by preschool, elementary/pre-teens and teens is focused on integrating lessons of respect and tolerance in day-to-day activities.
As your child grows, it will be important to continue these conversations about racism, injustice, and inequality. As parents, we have a vital responsibility to educate our children about the current state of affairs in our world and to encourage them to speak out whenever they see others being treated unfairly. Let your child know they can always come to you with questions and concerns, and ensure them you will always support them as they seek to create a more just world in their classrooms, with their friends, and in the world at large. The resources above will give you the tools and knowledge necessary to start—and continue—these important talks with your kids.