Changing The World From Home
At Plant the Seed of Learning, we are firmly committed to creating a safe space where all families feel welcome and valued as part of our community. We are honored to learn alongside strong parents and caregivers who are working to raise their children to be brave, empathetic, and compassionate individuals who are empowered to affect change. To further support the efforts of families doing this hard work, we have compiled the following thoughts and resources on engaging in conversations about race at home:
Modeling As Teaching
From birth, babies learn from watching and listening to their favorite people – their parents and caregivers. By six months of age, babies notice race-based differences in faces. An article about a recent study shows that young children are able to pick up on bias from a parent and show that same bias against the individual involved and even towards a larger group of the same race. Children of all ages are attentive to even the smallest signs of stress and discomfort in their loved ones, absorbing everything about the various situations. Take time to reflect on your own behavior. Are you using life-giving words and actions as you go about your day? Children listen and emulate what they see and hear from those they spend the most time with. Taking time to have conversations with children about color and acceptance is important, but what is most important is whether your words and actions line up with what your goals are for your child.
Be Open and Proactive
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, preschoolers will begin to notice and point out differences in people they see around them. A positively worded response to these questions, such as, “Yes, isn’t it amazing how we all look different?” shows your child that differences are okay to talk about and that the difference is not a negative thing. Openly discussing race with truth and positivity helps to curb bias and develop in a young child the ability to wonder and ask questions bravely – two qualities that will serve them well as they encounter injustices later on in life.
Choose Books and Toys Intentionally
Another step that parents can take to lead children toward an open heart and acceptance of others is to be intentional about the toys and books the child experiences. Here are a few of our favorite things for kids:
Book List for Toddlers-Teenagers:
- “The goal is for all children to read books that provide both mirrors and windows so they subconsciously build an image of who and what they could be, while building empathy and understanding for the lives of others.” Katrina Schwartz, 20 Books Featuring Diverse Characters to Inspire Connection and Empathy
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz:
The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña
For more ideas on using toys and books to acknowledge and honor differences, click here.
These organizations offer free and low-cost resources for individuals and families looking to learn more about race and anti-racism in hopes of raising children who are empowered and courageous. Follow them on social media to start learning today: