Amid Juneteenth celebrations and Father’s Day weekend, people continue to protest racial injustice around the world, and parents everywhere are grasping for insight on how to talk about race with their children.
Bestselling author, keynote speaker and super-dad Doyin Richards (pronounced "doe-ween") shares his tips for raising antiracist children, helping kids understand the Black Lives Matter movement and breaking the stigma around men talking about their mental health. As a father to two daughters and the host of the podast Just Stick to Parenting, he’s no stranger to dissecting issues surrounding “man up” culture, as well as advocating for diversity and inclusion.
For parents looking to raise antiracist children, Richards suggests staying away from the concept of colorblindness.
“[With colorblindness] you’re basically saying that everyone’s experiences are the same. Well, guess what: My experiences as a Black man are different from a white man’s or an Asian man’s,” he says. “Quite frankly, kids may not understand that level of nuance when it comes to race.”
Instead, he says using metaphors and reading children’s books can help teach kids to respect the experiences of people of color.
Another way to talk about race with your children is to travel outside your community.
“If you happen to not have diversity in your town, go out of your town,” Richards explains. He suggests simple activities, like going on a day trip to expose them to restaurants and playgrounds that are different from the ones in your hometown.
“In this day and age, there’s absolutely no excuse to not expose your children to diversity and inclusion,” he says.
Richards also wants to share his message to other fathers who may have a hard time discussing these subjects with their children, or in general: “You can’t quit. We need you.”
Watch the video above to learn more about how to talk about race with your kids.
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