NurtureShock: New Thinking about ChildrenBy Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
[dropcap1]P[/dropcap1]arents who are looking for an answer about when to talk to their children about race may find it in NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children. The answer, according to researchers, is sooner than you think. One researcher suggests parents start talking about race to children as young as 3. (Both of my girls began asking questions about race at age 3.) Studies suggest such talks should be explicit, not vague. Parents also should consider the terms they use when having conversations about race. For example, one parent told a child that “everyone is equal” for weeks. Then the child asked what does ‘equal’ mean. The authors also tackle the belief that children exposed to more diverse environments will learn about race. Studies cited in the book suggest children are more likely to segregate in diverse schools. Parents of mixed-race children and those who have adopted children of another race don’t have much of a choice. We have to talk about it. I, for one, am delighted the authors devoted a chapter to race. Pick up the book at your local bookstore, borrow it from your local library or download it onto your favorite electronic reader. Enjoy!
Have you talked with your children about race? How old were they? More importantly, how did it go?