Talking to Children About Race and Racism

As soon as 6 months of age, kids are noticing skin color, and by 2 to 4 years of age, they are already internalizing racial bias.

Silence about race teaches children that they cannot talk about it and may reinforce racism later, write Nationwide Children’s Hospital pediatric psychologists Whitney Raglin Bignall, PhD, Ariana Hoet, PhD, and Jaquelyn Doxie King, PhD.

It’s particularly important, in light of the heightened attention on issues of race, violence and inequity, that parents and other caregivers talk to their children about these issues. Drs. Bignall, Hoet and King share their advice for taking addressing these complicated subjects with children of all ages, including this important point:

“Remember: it is okay not to know all the answers. You can look them up and learn together!”