posted by Gina
While today brought us a bright, shining, rainbow beacon of hope, we’ve been having a tough go of it. The world is proving a brutal place. How do we talk to our children about hatred? About violence? About racism? How do we answer their questions and how do we raise them to be a part of the solution?
I don’t know the answer. I wonder daily how to talk to my students. I’ve spent some time recently looking for advice and for resources, and thought I’d take this opportunity to share them with you.
The following are resources for talking about hate and hate crimes:
- Partners Against Hate offers a definitions and examples of specific questions young children have asked.
- Educate yourself: PLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) offers a number of resources for parents and families, including this Hate Guide Prevention Guide.
The following sites offer suggestions and thoughts on talking to your children about diversity and supporting tolerance in your home:
- The National Crime Prevention Council
- Teaching Tolerance provides all kinds of tips and resources for parents, teachers, and families to talk to children, stay abreast of current issues, and work to support tolerance and home and in classrooms.
Taking action can help young people feel connected to others who care, as well as fostering community engagement and social responsibility:
- Kids Can Make a Difference has a number of suggestions of ways kids can actively engage with issues they care about. While the site is specifically about taking action to end world hunger, this list can serve as a starting point for any kind of political action. Work together to write a letter, raise funds, or educate the community.
You might not know what to say. But give your kids the opportunity to talk with you. Let them know they’re not alone in their fears and their worries, and that there are other people in the world who care and are working for change. Give them an opportunity to be a part of that change.