Is Your Child Ready for The Race Talk? Take This Quiz
As June 19th marks the day that over 250,000 enslaved people were emancipated in Texas in 1865, and even in the midst of a global pandemic, the talk of race and equality has been underlined as the true on-going battle that appears to have no end in sight. Headlines are still piling up as they’re marked with another unarmed person of color losing their life.
It is evident that since the onset of COVID-19, households have had to holt, bunker down and sit in the dismay of it all. With the news playing softly in the background, children running about the house yet stopping ever-so-often to glance at the TV and ask questions, parents may consider … “is now the right time to have an open discussion about race?”
According to a new study published by the American Psychological Association, adults in the United States believe children should be almost 5 years old before talking with them about race, even though some infants are aware of race and preschoolers may have already developed racist beliefs – parents today still hold off on the talk of race.
“Many white parents often use well-meaning but ineffective strategies that ignore the realities of racism in the United States. Even if it’s a difficult topic, it’s important to talk with children about race, because it can be difficult to undo racial bias once it takes root,” said study co-author Leigh Wilton, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Skidmore College.
Although the study didn’t address exactly when or how adults should talk with children about race – The Answers: A Parent’s Guide to Discussing Racism with Children addresses just how important and easy it can be to start the conversation through a unique interactive online course, guide, workbook and quiz.
Developed by well-known author, educator and human rights activist Troya Bishop, M.ED., who is also a doctoral student at Walden University and founder of Bishop Global Education & Consulting, advocates for parents from all ethnic groups. “Being a mother and working in the education system I’m often asked questions regarding how to talk to children about racism. With the social climate in America becoming increasingly volatile and hostile towards African American youth, I created this curriculum to lay out attainable strategies through self-examination and uncovering your own biases, how to frame the discussion with your child through critical thinking skills while embracing diversity. I encourage curiosity with respect and help advocate for anti-hate and anti-racism,” said Bishop.
Grab a notebook and self-assess if now is the right time for you and your family:
Take the Quiz
1. Do you believe that skin color doesn’t matter?
2. Do you side with the thought that we’re all the same on the inside?
3. Growing up, were you told it’s not polite to talk about race?
4. Did your own parents refuse to discuss race, or was race never mentioned?
5. Do your children or family members ask you questions about racism that you feel uncomfortable answering?
6. Have your children been a part of a situation where race was involved, and you could have used some guidance with handling it?
7. Do you ever feel guilty because you don’t know what to say about race to your children?
8. Have your children ever embarrassed you with something inappropriate they said regarding race to another person from a different ethnic background?
9. Do you ever feel guilty because you don’t know when to have the “race talk”?
10. Do you hope that the racial tension in America will pass as quickly as possible?
11. Do you feel like you should do or say something, but you don’t know what to do?
According to Bishop, if you answered “yes” to any of these questions, now is the time to have the discussion with your child. Learn more about her books, courses and quizzes at www.theanswerstoracism.com.
About Troya Bishop, M.ED.
Troya is regarded as a fierce fighter and advocate for social causes. With over 21 years of experience in advocacy and non-violent protests, she has extensive experience in long-term strategic planning, with various civil and human rights campaigns.
She has been active in the social justice movement since attending NAACP meetings in Tuscaloosa, Alabama as a child. In middle school she was nicknamed, "Ole' Badd Troya", by classmates, because of her unique ability to get adults to listen, and because of her feisty, but sweet spirit. As an adult, Troya served as a Leadership Commissioner (2010-2012) and Crisis Committee Chairperson in Rev. Al Sharpton’s Atlanta office of National Action Network (2009-2012). Under the leadership of Rev. Sharpton, Troya was a key liaison in many cases regarding human rights violations.