Posted in Blog

When do you start to talk to children about race?

Black Lives Matter

Picture from Sacree_Frangine Instagram.

This past week has been emotionally and mentally draining. I am sure from the title you can guess why. I have a love/hate relationship with social media, it can be used for so much good such as, sharing precious moments and being up to date with the latest trend. But it also has many downsides, negative news, trolls and the fact the information can be shared constantly without being filtered. I have had to take many breaks to keep my mental health at peace and not overwhelm myself with all that is going on.

The internet and social media has been working 24/7 on sharing news, support, love for the victims of racial hate crime and police brutality. This has been amazing and I love that so many people have come together. However, there have been a lot of people who have been spread hate and negativity.

I have seen a few comments saying “my child is too young to learn about racism.” A child is never too young to learn about what is wrong and right. A child is not born a racist it is learnt behaviour and we all have a part to play in children’s development and learning.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, Understanding the World – People and communities, it states that early years settings have to provide resources to help children learn about themselves and others, helping them to understand differences and similarities with their peers. As a early years practitioner, I created many activities for children to learn about cultures, festivals and family traditions with various stories, videos and crafts.

at birth, babies look equally at faces of all races. at 3 months, babies look more at faces that match the race of their caregivers.

kelly et al, 2005

It is never too early for us to talk about race and culture with children. Children are sponges and observe and pick up more than we know. If we do not talk to our children, someone else will and we do not want our children getting information from the wrong sources. We want our children and the next generation to know from the start about equality and fairness.

From an early age black children are taught from their parents and caregivers that they have to work harder to achieve the same as their white counterparts. From an early age black children have are labelled and put in boxes before they speak and people get to know them. So if black children are exposed to this from an early age then white children should also.

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