Helping children understand and stop racial discrimination

In the many places we live and those we may visit around the world, we generally find ourselves in a multicultural environment. So, to prepare our children make the most of life, it is important to help them understand the benefits of cultural diversity and how important it is to accept that other people may have different values and beliefs.

One of the wonderful advantages of living in a diverse society is the opportunity to eat foods from different cultures, meet people with different beliefs and ideas, enjoy the wonder of creation by accepting and respecting that people from different racial background may look, speak, act and even eat differently.

It is also important to explain to our kids that that some people are discriminated against based on their race, and to empathise by considering how hurtful that would be for them. Perhaps your child is being discriminated against and so understands this concept first hand, - if so seek help from the school and friends and family members so you don't have to deal with it alone. No one wants to experience being treated unfairly or harmed, so take the opportunity to help your child become empowered and resilient and overcome the issues the racial discrimination they may be facing.

Social awareness is about being conscious of the problems, difficulties or hardships that different people, communities, or societies face on a day-to-day basis. Children with an awakened social consciousness are more likely to become socially active in a positive way by being empathetic towards others regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, class, or sexual identity. So, if we are to raise children who care about the planet and the people who live on it, we need to help them understand about social inclusion, not exclusion.

By discussing racial discrimination with your children you can help them to:

1. increase their awareness of how they and others live in society and learn why it is so important not to participate in any acts of discrimination towards other children based on their race or culture.

2. understand their own situation if they are being discriminated against and to find ways to resolve it; or

3. become more empathetic towards others who are being discriminated against and think about how they could make a positive difference either now or in the future.

By helping our children to develop empathy and acceptance and to value cultural, racial, social and other differences we can look forward to a bright and peaceful future.

If you’d like to know more about helping your child become more socially and environmentally aware, develop their understanding and empathy about social issues to support them to become a responsible and caring adult, take a look at the Environment and Social Understanding Inspired Children Life Skills Home Activity eBook. There are twelve easy-to-follow life skills activities you can complete in just 15 minutes at a time. Here are just some of the skills and knowledge your child can learn:

Understanding and managing bullying; Using the garbage and recycling bins at home and school;  An introduction to making ethical choices and frameworks for making ethical decisions; Social awareness about children with disabilities, homelessness, racial discrimination and social classes; environmental awareness including water conservation and paper recycling.

Remember each activity only takes around 15 minutes to complete and you can complete them at your own pace at a time that suits you and your family’s lifestyle... Most importantly, imagine how good you’ll feel about the huge difference you’re making as a parent to your child’s understanding about how to care for family, friends and peers as well as the environment. By helping our children to develop empathy for people’s hardships and an acceptance of the cultural, racial, social and other differences in the world we can look forward to a bright and peaceful future.