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BLOG: Expert tips for talking with children about race and racism

Dr. Danniella Jones, Psychologist, Palm Beach County Youth Services Department
Want to talk to your young children about race and racism but not sure how? Here are some tips from Dr. Danniella Jones, a psychologist with the Palm Beach County Youth Services Department:

• Make sure to use clear, accurate, and concrete language with children. For example, instead of saying, “Some people didn’t want to eat with other people because of their skin color,” you might say, “white people made rules that Black people could not eat in the same restaurants, which was unfair.” Information should be developmentally appropriate, but not “watered down” or sugar-coated. 
• Remember that not all People of Color are the same. As you learn more about racism, start learning and talking with your child(ren) about the way in which sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, socioeconomic status and other factors contribute to a person’s unique experiences. 
• It is important to give children small doses of information at a time so that they are able to fully process what you are saying and ask questions. 
• Talk to your child(ren) about the many wonderful contributions People of Color have made to science, art, academics, culture, etc. in the U.S. and in the world! Let them know about the positive work that many People of Color and white people are engaging in to try to break racism down piece by piece.

More Answers from Dr. Jones

BLOG: Some helpful definitions in understanding race and racism
BLOG: What is implicit bias
BLOG: Why can't I say, 'I don't see color?
BLOG: Should I talk about race and racism with my children?
BLOG: How do I start talking to my young child about race and racism?
BLOG: How can I expand my child's worldview?