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How Can Parents Help Teach Children About Race?

As parents watch news of protests unfold, they’re asking questions — and so are their children — about race relations. Specifically, what they can teach and how.

“Modeling how we interact with the world is hugely important,” Sharon Frederick, a licensed psychotherapist, said. “You can have parents that smoke and say to their children don’t smoke, but those children will smoke because they are watching your behavior.”

Caley Kukla, a parent educator and child behavior specialist, bases her work with children on empathy. She said to first have a conversation with yourself.

“Babies start showing a preference for the person’s color based on the color of their caregivers at 6 months,” she said. “If we think our children don’t notice, we are telling ourselves our own story.”

Therapists said for young kids, you should acknowledge differences. Use books and multi-cultural toys. You can even use a simple box of crayons as an analogy. If you only used a white crayon, your drawing would be bland.