Contrary to the common belief that young children “don’t see race," a mountain of research evidence confirms that they do racial awareness starts early. We know that within a few months of birth, babies prefer own-race faces, and that by roughly age 3 kids start to form judgments about others based on racial differences. And by kindergarten, kids perceive that different racial groups have different social status.
As caregivers, we teach our kids about race whether we do so intentionally or not. But we’re not the only ones teaching them. Kids learn about race every day and from everywhere - in their neighborhoods and schools; from media, books and toys; and from everyone they interact with, including in their homes.
Given the pervasiveness of the racial messages kids are exposed to and the damage many of those messages can cause, the question for caregivers is not whether we should communicate - thoughtfully and deliberately - with even the youngest children about race. Of course we should. The question really is: how can we do that work well?
Join us for a conversation about why and HOW to talk to young children about race. As always, come with your questions, comments and strategies to share.