New York – The American Academy of Pediatrics introduced a series of recommendations, on how to talk to children about racism and discrimination to families. Also how these scourges harm society.
“Racism harms children’s health, starting from before they are born,” the institution’s president, Sally Goza, said in a statement.
The AAP recommends parents to proactively involve their children in these traumatic events. Especially taking into account their age and development, and the current events following the death of African-American. The victim of racism George Floyd in Minneapolis by a race police officers.
“As a parent, you must assume that children of almost any age are hearing about what is happening in our nation today,” said Nia Heard-Garris, president of the AAP; Section on Health, Equity, and Minority Inclusion.
The American Academy of Pediatrics added, now parents should have these conversations. Ideally, talk to your child first, before they hear such news from any other sources and help them to frame the events in their age-appropriate way.
The Specialists Heard-Garris and Jacqueline Dougé, authors of an AAP policy statement on racism, offered the following recommendations:
TALK TO THEM
Ask what they know, what they have seen, and how they feel. Validate their feelings and assure them that it is normal to feel emotions.
For younger children, you can tell them what you are doing to keep your family safe. You can ask preadolescents and older children if they have suffered abuse or racism, or if they have witnessed an event of this nature.
CHANGES OF BEHAVIOR
Some children may become more aggressive, while others will withdraw. If you are concerned that your child is experiencing anxiety, fear, or distress, parents should contact their pediatrician or mental health provider for additional help.
LIMITS TO WHAT THEY SEE IN THE MEDIA
Do not leave the TV on in the background. With older children and teens, watch with them and discuss what they are seeing. Listen to their observations and share yours.
You can use business breaks or breaks to have short discussions. With younger children, limit your media exposure and ensure that media exposure occurs in a common area or where parents can register like TV or YouTube,etc.
AS AN ADULT LISTEN TO YOUR OWN EMOTIONS
If current events are affecting you ask for help dealing with trauma and emotional impact. Make a list of your own strategies for dealing with the situation, and when you need to use them, access it.
For the AAP, this is a teaching time, where they can discuss the history of racism and discrimination in the United States and help their children make a change.
The American Academy of Pediatrics argues that racism hurts everyone, including children of all races and ethnicities.
“This is not an avoidable conversation,” said Joseph Wright, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics board. “These are conversations that African American families have had to have for generations,” he added. EFE News