Our children are watching and listening!
Challenging everyday racism starts at home. The role of the family is silent when discussing strategies for combating racism and all forms of discrimination. This is an apparent gap.
When an 18 years old commits a racist hateful act, we quickly blame social media. However, we must ask what is happening at home.
Families must get involved in addressing social issues. What conversations are adults having that may shape children’s ideology? Are we telling our children all forms of hate is not acceptable? Or are we looking the other way and making excuses instead of addressing racism issues at home?
It is easy and perhaps safe to point fingers at social media, but we cannot blame it for everything. We don’t give social media all the credit when our children thrive. So we must not blame it all on social media when they commit acts of hate. While social media is a contributing factor – parents, families, adults, and those our children look up to, have a role to play as well.
What is your ideology about racism and all forms of discrimination?
How do you talk about racism in your home? Do your children know your stance on racism, discrimination, and prejudice and do you know theirs?
Have courageous conversations about race, ethnicity, culture and other discriminating issues with your children. Stay engaged with them.
Speak your truth and let them speak theirs. It is okay to experience discomfort when having these conversations. Acts of hate against people are not comfortable either.
By engaging our children to discuss how they feel about discriminating issues, we better prepare ourselves for behaviour crises and can identify problems before they become unmanageable.
Please remember that you can’t expect children and young adults to do everything simply because you say so as a parent or guardian. Take the time to explain, and let them know your values. Our children learn and become better humans when we engage them in conversations.
Be good role models!