How to talk to your kids about Racism


Firstly I'd like to say I'm am no expert, being white I will never understand first-hand what a person of colour has to go through each day and the added obstacles they have to overcome. I was debating not writing this post but I do know that the onus has to be on us to educate ourselves and not for the BAME community to provide it for us. We are the ones that need to teach our children and to work towards a future free of prejudice and discrimination for all. 

Having grown up in South Africa meant that discussions around race and culture were something that was heavily highlighted in my childhood, it's an unavoidable topic there as you are confronted with inequality on a daily basis as well as a sense of hope in a country that is working hard to unify its people and correct its wrongdoings of the past and having witness change first hand I know how empowering that can be for a community and country. 

Saying that this needs to be a lifetime journey of learning for us all and being educated about black history and what that means to society today because if we don't know the past we can't move forward into a better future. While there has been a lot of fantastic encouragement and support on social media, we do need to go beyond just sharing posts and dig deeper.

As I said I'm not an expert and I will make mistakes, we all will but we need to be open to being corrected and not taking offence as it's going to be apart of this process. My children and I are on this journey together and I wanted to attempt to put some kind of list of resources for parenting together to help explain, educate and encourage diversity in our children's lives. If you have any additional books, websites etc that you think should be added to this post please leave them in the comments.

Firstly some tips on how to approach the subject in a way children will understand and want to engage with - again this is not an exhaustive list and is a combination of my own experiences and in-depth research

1. Start these discussions early on, in fact, the earlier the better although do keep in mind their development level and keep things relatable. 

2. Don't be silent, while we may not have all the answers, silence can give the impression it's not a topic to talk about and this can cause issues further down the road. 

3. Conversations should be on-going, this is not a one-time thing and as children age, the discussions can become more complex. We also need to encourage questions and when we don't know the answer we should take the time to find out and learn together. 

4. Positive Role modelling - children respond the most towards what they see and how we as parents react to a situation. We must show fairness, acceptance and inclusivity in our lives and that we treat all people with respect - be that a person of colour, elderly, disabled etc 

5. Get children involved in your own activism, explain to them why it's important to sign petitions, support others and make donations to causes in need. Help them see beyond their own world and own needs and how we can also do more than just talk. 

6. Keep education yourself as well as your children. We can learn together but it's also important for us as parents to read up and be knowledgeable about this topic so we can provide our children with factual and practical information so we can teach our children in the best way possible. 

7. Diversity your children's books, toys and games - while this isn't something many of us can afford to do overnight it should be something we are thinking about next time we make a purchase and if you can support local small businesses that's even better. 


Free Resources

Sesame Street - How to explain racism to kids episode - a special CNN episode with lots of Q&A with professionals that helps explain what is going on in a family-friendly way. 

CBBC Newsround special on Racism - a great Newsround special all about what has been happening since the death of George Floyd, from protests and people coming together. This is aimed for slightly older children 6yrs up. 

Raising little Allies to be - a free printable resource to help parents start off the conversation with young children by K Is For Kindness.

Embrace Race - Raising a brave generation - this is a great website for both parents and children on raising thoughtful allies and confident and resilient children. The website it packed with articles, action 
guides and webinars. 

Twinkl - Some of the printouts and resources on Twinkl are free others you have to pay to access but it has an abundance of printouts and worksheets for children on topics such as Black history month, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela etc - Anti-Racism for kids, an age by age guide to help parents discuss this topic through the years. 

Bounce Back Parenting - a great blog post with a fantastic children's book list and activity ideas.

Todays Parent - 30 Books to help you talk to your kids about racism. 

We Are Teachers - a list of 21 anti-racism videos to share with kids. 

Woman'sDay - 15 kid-friendly movies to help build a conversation about race and racism

A list of 10 Anti-Racism charities you can donate to in the UK - this could be good for slightly older children who want to be more active, donate pocket money or do some fundraising. 

Here is also a list of Petitions you can sign - this could open up a discussion for older children about the power of the people and why petitions can be really useful and bring on change. 

teach your children


  1. Such an important topic! I'm a kindergarten teacher and I've been wondering how I wil approach this in the fall! Thank you!

  2. Kristine Nicole Alessandra15 June 2020 at 15:21

    These are very good pieces of advice. As parents, we must teach our children early on to respect others' uniqueness. And this must be reinforced in school too.

  3. This is very important to talk about. Thanks for sharing the tips!



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