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strategies for Discussing Race, Racial Discrimination & Racial Trauma with Youth

Research has indicated that youth experience racism, prejudice, and bias as early as preschool.  For many, their interpersonal experiences of racism, prejudice and bias can be quite disorienting, and can influence functioning, particularly for youth who have experienced other traumas. As such, it is important that those connected to youth (parents, guardians, trusted family members, mental health/behavioral health providers, teachers and community) create spaces and opportunities to discuss race and race-related stressors with youth.


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Tips to Raise Racially Conscious Kids

We are seeing protests for racial justice across the nation. These protests are prompting increased conversation about racism, police brutality, and the ugly long history of racial and social injustices aimed at Black Americans. This increased discussion is likely having parents from all racial backgrounds ask themselves, “how do I talk to my kids about this?” or “are my kids ready to hear about these ugly truths?” More specifically, if you are a White parent you may also ask yourself, “how do I raise a racially conscious child?” While these discussions with your child may be difficult and uncomfortable, it is actually better to begin having them earlier vs. later, because as we know, children are always paying attention, and we rather help and assist them in understanding the discussions that are happening around them.

While not an exhaustive list, we have provided a few tips for how parents can work to raise racially conscious children, who are proactive against perpetuating systems or experiences embedded in racism.


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