Raising Respectful Race-Conscious Children

Source: Babble

Growing up, I was often categorized as white-presenting and "not really" Hispanic. It always irked me, because (1) it's racist and (2) I am proud of my heritage. Now that I have a son who is half white, I want him to still acknowledge his Latino side. I want him to be aware and proud of his background, as well as respectful of everyone else no matter what theirs is.

Recent events have caused me to pause and think about how to raise our son, and any future child(ren) we might have, to be accepting and respectful of others no matter their color, creed, or religion.

Although many people proclaim to not be racist because "they don't see color" when looking at others, that is a dangerous way to approach race-consciousness. The reality is, unless medically color blind, we all see each other's race. It is important to acknowledge that, be aware of it, and to consciously choose to treat others with respect and dignity in spite of it and all differences.

I did some research about how to approach this topic with kids (this Buzzfeed article is great, in my opinion) and I wanted to share some of the key tips from it. Because it's important. This is important. 

1. Talk and learn about race, racism, and racial inequity. 

2. Use the concept of fairness.

3. Connect the past with the present and future.

4. Model behaviors for children.

5. Encourage complex, critical thinking.

As a parent, I now feel as compelled and responsible as ever to show love, teach love and choose love. 

I hope you'll do the same.

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