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Race and racism conversation with children

Posted at 10:28 AM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 13:28:39-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — “Have these conversations early and often," said Dr. Dwight Norman, a local clinical psychologist.

As ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests continue across the country, many parents are wondering how they can start the conversation about race and racism at home with their kids.

“It's not enough just to take to these protests," said Dr. Norman. "Conversations about why we are there, what is happening, and why the protests are happening and, most importantly, model the good behavior from the parent in this case."

Leaving the door open for a curious child to ask the uncomfortable questions is key to creating a healthy conversation.

“When you're having these discussions with your kid, encourage critical thinking. Allow them to express themselves on how they are processing what's happening and provide different scenarios for them to come up with their own answers, allow them to express how they feel on what’s going on," said Dr. Norman.

According to Dr. Norman, this conversation is often brought up in therapy sessions for his teenage clients.

“Kids that are eight and under, they understand there's differences and people are special in their own right, but they don't really grasp racial divide until you hit middle school students where those discussions become more prominent," said Dr. Norman

Dr. Norman provided resources for parents looking to have these conversations with kids including Teaching for Change and Crossroads Antiracism.

Alphabet Behavioral is also accepting clients at this time for children and parents looking to have these conversations with a pscyhologist.