Impressions for the Impressionable

 In parenting

It seems as if the past year or two has been particularly wrought with situations that have raised racial tension in our country. It’s heartbreaking to sit back and watch as some people’s true colors of preconceived prejudice are revealed in the aftermath of such situations. It’s had me thinking about what it will take to eventually eradicate this hateful bias from amongst our culture.

The thing that struck me was that our kids are not born with racial stereotypes and prejudices. I see how my children interact with other children, and it’s as if skin color is a complete non-factor. So where does racism begin?

I don’t think there are many parents who would admit to voluntarily passing racism along to their children. But do we realize the jokes we make or the insinuations we imply when our children are present? Do we do things, even subconsciously, that give strong cues to our children as to who is more worthwhile? What signals are we giving off that we think are meaningless and yet could be shaping our children’s views on race and prejudice even now?

Take stock of your heart and mind. Racism begins in our thoughts. From there, it flows into our attitudes and actions. Our children will catch on to much more than we think they will. The way we think, speak, and act affects them in so many ways, but particularly in the area of racial prejudice. Let’s do our part to put an end to hatred and ignorance. It may be too late for generations long gone in their presuppositions, but we can impact the future by carefully handling the way our children view the world.

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