Tips for talking to your children about race

Beth Hall, Director of Pact-An Adoption Alliance, shares advice for parents on the best way to talk to young children about racism
Parenting Tips | Advice For Talking To Your Kids About Race
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Tips for talking to your children about race

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Often times talking about racism to young children can be scary for us, we are afraid we'll make them afraid or afraid to make them feel somehow less them. But actually the opposite is true in both cases, let us think about it. I don't wait until my child ask if they should cross the street with cars roaring by. I know if I do that, they are going to die. i understand it is my job to talk to them about something even though it is scary. So first we have to do an inner inventory that way. How nervous am I about this. I'm old, i remember when my Mom talked to me about sex, I didn't hear a word she said, but boy i knew I was never bringing that up again cause something about the way she was soothing, those unspoken messages. So we need to practice, we need to learn to talk about race so that when we talk to our children, they would understand that we are comfortable with this. We are not afraid at this, makes children nervous, to think their parents are afraid of something especially if it has to do with them. So we need to practice, we need how to learn to talk about it and then we just need to be straight up and talk about values. Some people think that other people are okay because they are a different race than them and in our family, we don't agree with that.

Beth Hall, Director of Pact-An Adoption Alliance, shares advice for parents on the best way to talk to young children about racism

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Beth Hall

Director, Pact - An Adoption Alliance

Beth Hall is an adoption educator who co-founded Pact, An Adoption Alliance, which is a multicultural adoption organization dedicated to addressing essential issues affecting adopted children of color. Pact offers lifelong support and placement services for birth and adoptive families with adopted kids of color. A national speaker, she is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Inside Transracial Adoption, which is filled with personal stories, practical suggestions, and theory, and delivers the message that race matters; racism is alive; and families built transracially can develop strong and binding ties. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award, from the Adoption Initiative at St. John's University. She currently serves as a contributing author and advisory board member for “Adoption Clubhouse,” a project promoting positive identity in transracially adopted children for the Evan B. Donaldson Institute for Adoption and as an Advisory Board Member for the On Your Feet Foundation, dedicated to supporting birth mothers of adopted children.Commitment to family is a way of life for Beth. She is the white adoptive mom of two young adults: Sofia, a Latina, and James, an African American. Beth grew up a member of an adoptive family—her sister, Barbara, was adopted. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and sometimes her adult children, when they are home.

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