I am a mother raising two boys and I try to make sure that I am doing a good job of it! One concern that I have had lately is how to make sure that they do not grow up to be racist men. Sound very simple but their is racism everywhere and if you don’t address the subject and make sure they understand your views on it then they may listen to what other people are saying and take for granted that that is the way things are. That is the case with many things. For example if you don’t ever discuss sex with your children they are less likely to wait and less likely to be safe. If you don’t discuss drugs and let them know the dangers they are more likely to be talked into trying them. We know these things so most of us make sure we have these very serious discussions. But I do not think most of us parents are sitting are kids down and talking to them about racism! So I think all parents should add this topic to the list. We are the biggest influence on our kids, even if it does not seem like it sometimes. Continue to repeat your views on racism every time the subject comes up.
In addition to discussing the subject consider also whether or not you are leading by example. Do you have friends of different races? Do you listen to music by artists of different races? Do you rent movies that are about a family of another color? I found that these are all great ways to show your kids that you are accepting of everyone. Does the movie thing sound silly to you? Think about it, there are alot of movies about white families or kids, etc….but there are also plenty where the whole movie is about black people. Renting these just as often as the others can be helpful. If they are hearing things that you consider to be racist from other kids at school let them know that those kids are wrong and that your family does not believe that way. Have the family rule to treat everyone the same regardless of color or creed.
If your kids are like mine and you explain to them that racism is wrong, then they probably want to know why other are racist. I explained to mine that it is usually passed from generation to generation. And if someones parents and other members of their family teach this to them from birth it becomes something that they accept readily. Young kids should be told that their friends of the same age that are saying racist things really don’t know any better. It is simply what they have been taught to believe by their parents. They really are going to want to know why their friend think this way and you don’t want them to and that is the best way I can think of to explain it.
And finally explain to them that we are also all the same in the eyes of God. We are all his children and he loves us all the same no matter what color we are or where we are from. Children are very impressionable and I believe that it up to us parents to steer them in the right direction on this very important subject.