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Talking to my child about race and discrimination

    • Whatever your race it can be hard to talk to children about racial identity.
    • We may worry it’s too early to expose them to topics like racism and discrimination.
    • It may be something we don’t feel comfortable talking about.
    • We may not know where to start if we’ve not talked about our own racial identity.
    • Every family will talk about racial identity in a different way.
    • And it’s never too early to start having this discussion with our children.
    • Young children notice and think about race.
    • Babies notice physical differences, including skin colour, from as early as six months.
    • Two-year-olds use race to consider others and their behaviour. It means they learn to stereotype at about the same age as they learn to speak.
    • Most children start Primary School thinking some people have higher status than others.
    • Parents tend to think children share their racial beliefs. But children, between the ages of three and five, can develop different views.
    • Ignoring or avoiding the topic does not protect our children. It leaves them exposed to bias or racism.
    • When children experience racism, they may struggle to understand why it is happening.
    • Children’s feelings about their racial identity can affect their development and wellbeing.
    • Parents help children develop positive attitudes about their race and diversity in general. It gives children the skills to promote a fairer future. For example, talking about inter-racial friendships can improve a child's attitude to race.

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