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Talking to Your Kids About Racism

03 Jun Talking to Your Kids About Racism

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Like all of you, we at PediaTrust have watched the events of the past week with a mixture of anger and sadness: anger at both the pointless death of George Floyd and anger at the resulting violence perpetrated by some, and sadness that this is being played out in in so many communities across our country. As providers of pediatric care, we wish to focus on how this impacts your children, and what you can do to help them.

We want to express our commitment to providing expert pediatric care to all youth. PediaTrust promotes diversity, inclusion, and justice, and like you, we want our children to grow up in a world that is safe and healthy for everyone. Our core values in our practice are Trust, Partnership, Excellence, Compassion and Respect. We hope we live these values in our personal lives, as well.

We encourage you to seize this teaching moment to discuss with your children these events, while keeping in mind a few points:

  • Keep it age-appropriate: some of the scenes on TV are graphic in nature, and can be disturbing to all ages.
  • Younger children need very simple explanations, and remember to place the events in context.
  • For older children, they are probably reading online what is occurring, so be sure to discuss with them what they are thinking or feeling. 
  • For older teens, encourage them to use their power to effect change: register to vote or volunteer to help clean up affected areas.
  • For all ages, realize that actions speak louder than words. Model the attitudes and behavior you want to see in your children.

For our first responder families, please know that we support you and understand that you have extremely difficult jobs, and we rely on you to keep our communities safe.

We celebrate the diversity of our patients and value the lessons we learn from each of you. The physicians and team at PediaTrust stand with you as we work towards a more equal, tolerant and just future for the children of our communities.  

Further resources:

Good resources for discussing race with children

https://www.embracerace.org/
https://healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Building-Resilience/Pages/Talking-to-Children-about-Racism.aspx

American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on the Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health.

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/144/2/e20191765

Books for children and teens on social justice and racism:

https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=great-books-social-justice-middle-grade&utm_source=editorial&utm_medium=SLJTW&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=articles
https://blog.usejournal.com/31-childrens-books-to-support-conversations-on-race-racism-and-resistance-9dbabc28360e

For younger children:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnaltG5N8nE&fbclid=IwAR2fPBfEA-EpUOmKJ8H0HvtZPGUYc4tAEbuuAm52ZNXTyhXIjBAP3CoEjsA

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