A young Hispanic boy aged 7 sat in the back of the bus with his friend, and his friend asked him if he liked a particular girl in his class, and he responded, “I don’t like no black girls!” Surely this young child was not born with such offensive thoughts, he was taught them, and these are racist comments, learned in a racist environment. Racism is a horrible condition that is learned, that is taught to innocent children, or speculated and imitated by children from their elders, their friends, or from what they see and hear on television. Many parents who consider themselves not racist may subconsciously be raising racist children. I have included some tips below on how to prevent raising racist children.
Expose your child to different cultures, we often make fun of or judge those things of which we are ignorant about. The way people, talk what they eat, and what they wear can be a reflection of their culture, and it may seem very strange and almost comical to some. Parents should expose their children to different cultures, doing so will help them be more accepting of others, and it will teach them a great deal. Parents can easily expose their children to different cultures by attending multicultural events in your community, or you can purchase or rent educational videos and books, on different cultures, you can even try different cuisines from different cultures. Your child will also learn how to be more open- minded and receptive as he gets older. If your child does come home one day talking subjectively about a girl in traditional garb, maybe you can take advantage of that situation and expose your child to that culture.
Purchase Multicultural toys- Just because your child may be of a certain race, or races it does not mean that his/her toys have to be all the same color. Don’t hesitate to buy dolls and toys of different race to your children’s toy collection. Doing so will teach your child how to treat and play with these dolls equally. It will teach your child to be accepting of others.
Accept your child’s friend- Your child may become friends with a kid of a different race and culture, parents should do their part and not prohibit your child from playing with this kid, if you allow your child to play with his finned you are showing your child that having friends of different color and culture is accepted, it is okay. You are teaching your child to be culturally accepting. Many children intentionally discourage their children from playing with children of different color, or culture. I have had a friend with this experience when she took her daughter to a park, her daughter showed interest in playing with an Asian girl and the mother would not allow it, the mother preferred her daughter to play with Caucasian children, parents like these teach their children to selectively choose friends, and communicate with people.
Watch your tongue and actions- Many families have inner jokes about other cultures and races, these jokes are meant to be harmless, but if they are imitated by your young child they can get out and hurt someone terribly. When you mock other cultures yu are teaching your child that disrespecting others because of their race and culture is acceptable and allowed in your family.
Police Television- Television is notorious for racism; there are daily shows and movies that feature characters making very prejudiced remarks, and actions. You must take the initiative to monitor what your child is watching, don’t allow your child to watch these types of programs because even though you may not be racist, your still teaching your child that it is okay to be prejudiced when you allow him/her to watch these types of program.
Police ,Music- Music is not exempt from racism, hate bands that make hate music do exist so be sure to get a sense of what kind of music your child is listening to.
Know who your child is hanging out with- Your child can learn prejudiced behaviors from friends whose family condones that type of behavior. If you find that your child is learning this prejudiced type of behavior from friends than you should prohibit your child from hanging with them, be sure to tell your child why you do not want him/her hanging with that friend.
Be aware of prejudiced behavior that relatives or your friends may exhibit- If your child will be spending time with relatives, friends, or even caregivers you want to make sure that they do not posses a racist tone, because your children will pick this up.
Teach your child how much racism hurts, (stereotypes, racist jokes) chances are he/she won’t be prejudiced towards other, if they know how bad it hurts.
If you have had a bad experience with one person do not teach your child to blame it on that person’s whole entire race or culture, not every person of the same culture acts the same way or holds the same beliefs and feelings. If you have had a bad experience with one person, let your child see that the person made the mistake, do not place emphasis on the person’s color or race.
The children are our future, parents and family, together let’s see if we can help in defeating racism.