At the Center for Parent and Teen Communication we stand in solidarity with those calling for an end to racial injustice. Those young people who are directly victims of discrimination or live in fear that they could too easily become victims must be given the space to express and process the feelings generated within them. They must know that we adults are committed to their safety and well-being.
Parents need to acknowledge the trauma of what we have just seen. Young people need to know that this is not a single incident, but rather is the latest episode in a centuries long history of violence and discrimination against African-Americans. Our teens will build our future, and if they have an understanding of structural inequalities and racism they will work to promote justice and more equal opportunities from the ground up. They will create the type of world that will be better for us all.
We live in a society where race matters, so parents must make sure to give teens of color a place to explore this aspect of their identity. Dr. Veronica Svetaz and Dr. Tamera Coyne-Beasley recently penned an important chapter in the newly released 4th edition of, Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In it, they offer strategies to guide parents raising teens of color in this complex world we live in. They also provide vital information for all families yearning for greater understanding about how to build resilience in children in the context of challenges such as racism. Three such strategies include:
- Examining your own biases and working hard to dispose of them.
- Discussing stereotypes and dispelling myths.
- Exposing children to the realities of our multiracial society and ensuring you do not promote “color-blindness,” but instead celebrate all that our differences bring to build our collective strengths.
For additional information, read the full free chapter provided below. We believe you will feel inspired by their recognition that:
- All parents, regardless of color, must be aware of racism and can be a positive influence in building resilience for youth who are directly affected by racism.
- All of our children must hear elevating messages to be resilient, become their best selves, and celebrate their strengths and cultures. We must see our children as they deserve to be seen and build a better world where every one of them can rise to be their very best selves.