Dear parents and families of Post Road Pediatrics,
As your pediatricians, we are often asked how to discuss difficult topics with your children. Some are questions like how to talk to your teen about feminine hygiene products; others are how to explain serious illness, divorce, or death. One we do not often review with families (and isn't that part of the problem?) is racism.
The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Sally Goza, MD, recently stated, "We must dismantle racism at every level, from individual to institutional to systemic," said AAP President Sara "Sally" H. Goza, MD, FAAP. "Our nation did not get here overnight, and the road to progress and healing will be long and difficult, but the work we have before us is essential. Our children's future will be built on these moments of reckoning." Dr. Goza also noted, ""Racism harms children's health, starting from before they are born," Dr. Goza said. "A growing body of research supports this, and we cannot ignore the impact."
We have always had the opportunity, but never more than right here and now, to have these critical conversations with our children. Racism has to be confronted on all fronts: in every state and town, in every school, and on every block. We are not experts on racism itself, but we have a lot of experience talking to kids about tough subjects, and have access to Boston Children's and the American Academy of Pediatrics, both of which have experts on this important subject. Below are some vetted links with guidance for you and your family.
- Talking to Children About Racial Bias: excellent link on having conversations about race throughout your child's development. Underscores the importance of talking to your kids EARLY.
- How to Talk to Kids About Racism: an Age-by-Age Guide: age-by-age guide on discussing racism with your chuildren
- Teaching Children Cultural & Racial Pride: Great link on fostering pride in one's roots. The advice given is a solid example of good overall parenting. I recommend everyone watch this video.
- Beyond the Golden Rule: fantastic digital book on teaching tolerance and avoiding prejudice
- NY Times - Conversations on Race: superb collection of video essays on race and people describing their experiences with racism.
- How to Talk to Kids About Racism: Good reasons for (especially) white families to discuss race with their kids.