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8 Tips to Teach Kids About Racism

January 17, 2017

Racism is a difficult subject simply because it’s been turned upside down and inside out, mainly by the media. It’s 2017, we shouldn’t be having issues over the color of someone’s skin or their ethnicity but because many people are small-minded, we do. The hardest about teaching kids about racism is teaching them every aspect. Many kids are told about racism in school but it’s never truly expounded upon. However, it’s not just the school’s responsibility to raise children up in awareness and fairness. Here are a few tips to teaching your kids about racism.


  1. It doesn’t just happen to African Americans. Although it happens often to African Americans, racism is everywhere and don’t think for a second that it doesn’t happen among other ethnicities, including white people. It is more commonly seen in certain ethnicities but racism is a plague and reaches to all corners of the earth.
  2. It doesn’t just occur between white people and African Americans. The media has been great about pitting these two ethnicities against each other when in all actuality, there are many who get along just fine without one thought about the difference in their ethnicities. I mean, for goodness sakes, it’s America. There is just about every type of ethnicity represented here. However, there are many who don’t get along as well but that often comes down to the person themselves and the issues in their life that usually cause this type of hate. It’s very sad but I personally do not believe those that are seen on the news represent the majority for either race whether the media tries to paint it that way or not.
  3. Don’t play the part of the victim. Teaching kids from an early age to not let racism stop them from becoming who they are is a vital step to them reaching their dreams and goals. Often times, we teach kids to flop when they’re “hit” but that’s only going to make life tougher for them. Racism is, sadly, always going to be there but if kids at an early age are taught to see that those who are racist have the issues and not themselves, then they will be more inclined to push through the haters in general, including when racism isn’t even involved.
  4. Don’t get caught up in it. It’s really easy for many kids to become followers. My parents always taught me to be independent and a leader. I’m thankful they did because I felt more in control of peer pressure growing up. Don’t be afraid to push kids a little to be the example. It may embarrass them when they’re younger but they will grow to be strong-willed and firm in their decisions. This in itself allows the values you taught them to stick leaving them less likely to get involved in racism altogether.
  5. Have them interact with other ethnicities. From a young age, if kids are used to being around other ethnicities, it feels normal whereas, if they get thrust into it when they’re older, it feels uncomfortable. Let your kids experience various types of people including how wealthy they are as they grow up.
  6. Don’t shelter them so much. It’s easy for many of us to want to shelter our kids from the harsh realities of the world until we’re forced to explain it or show them. I know from experience that it does more damage than good. Of course, this is within reason, don’t be crazy about it. However, don’t hide them from things they truly should know. You would be surprised at how resilient they are and how much they already know. Instead of making them receive perceptions and ideas from other sources, be the first to tell them because the first time they hear about something is often what they hold onto as truth.
  7. Be the example. I have to say that this is the biggest one for me. I have always been taught that if you want your kids to jump ten feet, you have to jump twenty. If you’re not practicing the things you’re teaching them, then it most likely won’t stick. Kids watch what we do more than they listen to what we say. Actions have the upper hand when it comes to being a long term example.
  8. Watch your words. Kids listen to the random things you say and will often repeat them. This goes into being the example again. If you’re bashing an ethnicity or even just make a harsh joke about another ethnicity, it could sink into their head. Older kids may be better at understanding and differentiating when it’s not real but little kids aren’t usually as keen on these things. Kids hold on to the craziest things as well, sometimes things we don’t even remember. That’s what it’s so important for us as adults to be meticulous with what we say and how we say it.

  • Reply
    Bren Pace
    January 17, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Well said, Kita. I’m disgusted by all the racism in our America and the media who give it so much oomph. The media has a way of turning us against one another and people allow it. Rather than being the “leader” and thinking for themselves, they become victims and followers. Truly said. I’m glad that you decided to publish this post. I’m passing it along.


  • Reply
    robin masshole mommy
    January 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    It is disgusting how much of this unacceptable behavior has been brought to light over the past year. It’s important to teach all of our kids that is is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

  • Reply
    Alli Smith
    January 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I totally agree that the media fuels the fire of racism. I love all of your tips, especially the one about watching your words. I firmly believe that racism is taught. We have to set examples for the future generations if we want to put an end to racism. I’ve always taught my kids the truth, that all people are created equal.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Oh my gosh what a wonderful post. So glad you expressed everything I think so many of us have been feeling and thinking. Our children don’t see color or different nationalities. All they see are friends and someone to hang out with. Parents teach your children correctly.

  • Reply
    Jacqui @FlightsFancyMom
    January 18, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    These are great tips! My daughter has friends of different ethnic backgrounds and loves them all. I’m very proud of her for not getting caught up in the school racism drama that turn kids against one another. And as you said, it’s a two way street. It happens to everyone. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Kathy Myers
    January 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    This is very well written, I love that color is blind in my family.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    These are some really good tips to teach your children. Racism is not a born behavior, but taught at the home. If more people will teach their kids how wrong it is, the better it will be.

  • Reply
    Sue @NoFixedAbodeForSue
    January 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    All great points, and so needed today sadly. I think your last point is especially true as sometimes we say things without thinking how others hear them.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Great tips for teaching kids about an unfortunate reality of our world. If they know about it, then they can stand up against it when they see it.

  • Reply
    Vera Sweeney
    January 18, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    These are grat tips!!! It can be so hard to deal with but best to start the conversation when they are younger.

  • Reply
    Heather Lawrence
    January 18, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    So so important to teach kids about racism.
    Growing up in small town Alberta there weren’t any visible minorities and now I am the visible minority! Now if we could just teach the media…then we would be on the right track 😉

  • Reply
    Heather @ Kraus House Mom
    January 19, 2017 at 12:23 am

    The school my kids went to had such a diverse population that my kids are friends with kids from all races and a bunch of ethnicities. They don’t know any different and I wouldn’t want them to.

  • Reply
    January 19, 2017 at 1:28 am

    These are great tips. It’s so important to teach kids early. I know our family really makes the effort. We also lead my example.

  • Reply
    January 20, 2017 at 7:02 am

    It’s just crazy to me that this is even an issue still in this country!!! These are really great tips on addressing it!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Swenor
    January 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    These are all great tips for teaching your children about racism. It is so that it is not just one race of people racism happens too. I believe it is so important to lead by example and we all need to watch what we say around our children. Thanks for sharing the tips.

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