I love this quote, and I think it’s important for all parents, not just parents of children of color:
We can choose to actively influence our children’s attitudes. With our encouragement children will test and think through their beliefs about race, ethnicity, and religion. They are unlikely to ask the necessary hard questions without our help. It is up to us to take the initiative!
Children care about justice, respect, and fairness. Squabbles about sharing, concerns about cliques, and problems with playmates — the daily trials of childhood — reflect their active interest in these social issues. So do the questions children ask, when they feel safe enough to ask them.
One important gift we can give our children is to create a family in which difficult issues like racism are openly discussed. By talking openly and listening without censure, we can learn about our children’s concerns and help them find connections between larger social issues and their own life experiences.