Back in early May, we were making plans to reopen The Yellin Center and were preparing blog posts on issues related to COVOD-19 and how families could cope with a pandemic and the stresses that came with lockdown, economic losses, and home schooling. And then, on May 25th, the world changed yet again.
George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officers and the entire world responded. People of all races and backgrounds came together to declare that Black Lives Matter and that George Floyd's death could not be accepted as one more death in a long line of Black lives lost to police violence and systematic racism. It had to stop. Now.
As parents everywhere struggle to provide their children with an age-appropriate understanding of complex issues of racism, police violence against people of color, and how to change the world into one where respect, understanding, and kindness guide all public actions, we have come across a few -- of many -- resources that parents may find helpful as they speak to their children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has looked at the myriad impacts of racism on children's health, development, and well-being and come up with suggestions as to how their members "can begin untangling the thread of racism sewn through the fabric of society and affecting the health of pediatric populations."
Common Sense Media has an extensive list of children's books on racism and social justice, broken down by age. Reading these with your younger children -- or discussing books with your older children -- can be excellent starting points for in-depth conversations.
CNN has a piece on how to talk to your children about protests and racism, which includes this advice from California pediatrician Dr. Rhea Boyd, who teaches nationally on the relationship between structural racism, inequity and health and who notes,
"Whether from social media accounts, conversations with peers or caregivers, overheard conversations, or the distress they witness in the faces of those they love, children know what is going on, and without the guidance and validation of their caregivers, they may be navigating their feelings alone."
And this coming Wednesday, June 17th, Common Sense Media is hosting a free webinar on
Parenting in Support of Black Lives: How to Build a Just Future for Kids (and How Media Can Help). Advance Registration is required.
We hope some of these resources help your family navigate these important conversations.