Talking With Children About Race and Racism


Lingras, K.A. Talking With Children About Race and Racism. J Health Serv Psychol 47, 9–16 (2021).


Children notice race from an early age. They also observe and can understand injustices among people. However, research shows that not all caregivers discuss race, identity, and racism. Some avoid the topic altogether. There are significant repercussions when we do not provide space for these formative conversations. Silence allows stereotypes, biases, and racism to be reinforced. There is a role and a responsibility for mental health practitioners to undertake these sometimes difficult conversations and practices with patients and parents. Illustrative examples to use with children of different ages are presented as a means of supporting parents in their discussion of race and racism with their children.

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