Tragic and unsettling current events have many parents wrestling with their own feelings while worrying about their children and how to help them cope and thrive.
This collection of resources helps caregivers talk to kids about what’s happening, provide reassurance, and empower them to take positive steps.
“The reality is that even children as young as 4 years old will hear about major crisis events. It’s best that they hear about it from a parent or caregiver, as opposed to another child or in the media.”
Addressing Racism and Protests
This resource provides thoughts and guidelines for talking about the complex issues of racism and equality in age-appropriate ways with children 2 to 5 years of age.
“When we break into small groups and say, ‘I want to tell you about my life and hear more about yours,’ then we see each other less as labels and more like human beings.”
“Whether from social media accounts, conversations with peers or caregivers, overheard conversations, or the distress they witness in the faces of those they love, children know what is going on. And without the guidance and validation of their caregivers, they may be navigating their feelings alone.”
“Silence will not protect you or them. …Initiating an age-appropriate conversation can give children a helpful frame for understanding difficult realities. If parents are silent, children will draw their own often faulty conclusions about what is happening and why.”
“We must engage, comfort and reassure our young people and offer them productive ways to channel their anger and frustration and most of all be heard.”
“Identify and correct your own racially biased thoughts, feelings, and actions. If you want your children to believe what you preach, you have to exhibit those behaviors as well. Your everyday comments and actions will say more than anything else.”
“Though it’s essential for children to see people who look like them doing amazing things; it’s also essential for children to see people who don’t look like them doing those same amazing things. This will help them grow up not only knowing things should be equal, but becoming initiators of racial equality.”
“Families and teachers can help turn the concept of differences into something to celebrate. As our children grow up, we want them to feel accepted and respected for the singular individual that they are and also truly appreciate others.”
“Racial discrimination isn’t just a civil rights issue; it can also affect teenagers’ health, a new study suggests.”
“Everyone has a responsibility to take action against racism.”
“Be a calming presence for others. In moments when the future is unclear and our minds begin racing toward worse case scenarios, the presence of a reassuring voice makes all the difference.”
“In the weeks and months after a violent or traumatic event, do everything you can to make sure that your children feel secure, and that a sense of normality returns to their life. “