When Do You Teach Your Kids About Racism?

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr Day. It is important to not just let this day pass as a day off from school for kids. We must teach them about this hero from American History. 

My question is, when do we teach them about racism? My wife and I plan to talk to our small children about MLK Jr today, but we are still trying to decide when and what to tell them about civil rights, racism and hate. Anyone else out there asking this question?

Up to this point our kids have been around many different cultures, fairly unaware of any differences between them and the other kids. If you are white, you might think this is good. If you are not, you may be upset because your kids may already be aware of the differences. Your kids may have even already experienced racism. 

Here is my fear in going into too much detail with my kids at this point. They are still young and they haven’t learned that hating another people is even on the table. Could talking to them about racism introduce them to an idea they have never considered before? 

It sounds a little odd when I type it out, I’ll admit. Maybe there is another fear I am unaware of. I know this, I don’t want my kids to be racist. I want them to fight against racism and for reconciliation. 

Also, I don’t want them to believe that everyone is the same. I want them to appreciate the differences of other cultures while also loving who they are. I want them to know God really loves them and everyone else they ever look eye to eye with, no matter one’s skin color or cultural heritage. 

Well, if you are up for it, I’d love your comments. What fears do you have about introducing your young children to the topic of racism? What should one teach young children on MLK Jr Day?

PS: Forgive me if this post is upsetting to you. Not my intention at all. My goal is to be a better parent and raise my children to stand up for the right things. Still upset? Well, I contemplated not posting at all and decided talking about it would be better than not doing so. 

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