Think about the Kids

Think About The Kids Header
Momentous Institute
By Momentous Institute Sep 18, 2017

Last week, we asked you to be self-reflective about your own racial background and biases. This week, we want to take it a step further. Let’s think about the kids we work with.

Many of us wonder how to have conversations about race with children. Parents and professionals who work with children of color know that conversations need to take place, but many aren’t sure the best way to approach the topic. Parents and professionals working with white children are more likely to wait to have conversations about race.

In the coming weeks, we will share strategies about how to have these difficult conversations with kids. But before any conversations take place, let’s do some reflecting about race and the children in our lives.

Take some time to reflect on these questions in your context – with your own children, your students, clients or children you interact with most often. Again, bonus points for those who write down answers and turn this into a discussion with your colleagues or other adults who work with kids.

 

What is the racial background of the kids you interact with most frequently?

How much do you know about their cultures? For example, if most of the children in your class are Latino, do you know their families’ countries of origin? Do you know whether they were born in this country or another country?

What do you know or imagine that these children understand about their own race? Do you think they feel a sense of pride? Shame? Both?

What do these children feel about other races?

How much do these children interact with children of their own race?

How much do they interact with children of other races?

Are most of the adults in their life of the same or different races?

How often do you think these children think about their own race?

 

Some of these questions may be easy to answer and others may be difficult. The point of this reflection is to think about the racial awareness of the children in your life before starting a conversation with them. If they’re already hearing about race from other adults and kids, they may have a different starting line that kids who have little diversity in their lives.

We’ll continue the series on race with ideas about how to put these self-reflections into practice. Stay tuned! 

©2017 Momentous Institute

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