Helping Your Child Deal with Racial Discrimination

Emmanuel Abimbola

Emmanuel Abimbola

Contributing Writer
Published: Aug 21, 2022
Helping Your Child Deal with Racial Discrimination

Racial equality can only occur when organizations, like schools and workplaces, give people of all races equal chances regardless of their physical characteristics, such as skin color, language, and culture.

Racial discrimination is the unfair or unfavorable treatment of individuals or groups based on traits like race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. 

One might think that only adults suffer such inhumane treatments, but it is a sad truth that kids of all ages are victims of racial discrimination too. Social media and news channels don’t report this as much as cases involving adults, but parents of victimized kids know too well the trauma their kids suffer in silence.

Newlywed interracial couples already know that the moment their kid is born such a child has a high probability of racial stigmatization at different stages of his life. Many parents have lost their precious kids to racial discrimination, and many children grow up with the trauma or suffer permanent damage to their self-esteem. 

We humans as collective species need to work and build a future where racial equality exists. And Christians around the world need to take this very seriously. We need to pray to God to send his Holy Spirit to impart love into the hearts of the world's people.

Racial equality can only occur when organizations, like schools and workplaces, give people of all races equal chances regardless of their physical characteristics, such as skin color, language, and culture.

Most young children and teenagers of color deal with this menace every day. They understand the racial tension, discrimination, violence, injustice, and inequality that exist around them.

And as they grow older they can understand the true meaning of fairness and oppression.  

Let's discuss five helpful ways to make your colored child resilient in the face of racism, through self-love and community:

1. Help Them Be Proud of and Celebrate Their Color

We must be intentional about creating opportunities for black children to see themselves reflected in the world in which they live. A lack of representation is among the many ways racism and discrimination are presented in our society.

Many black children in the United States might not have a black teacher or see a black doctor who shares their complexion or hair texture.

These experiences establish in the subconscious of black children that they do not belong. As parents, it is your responsibility to help them cope with this feeling by exposing your children to books, toys, and all kinds of healthy media that focus on and celebrate black children and families. 

2. Use Consistent Positive Affirmation

Positive affirmations are phrases one can use to affirm oneself and build self-confidence in difficult situations. As parents, you must teach your child several such personal reassuring phrases to use whenever they are feeling overwhelmed with negative thoughts from racial discrimination. 

Positive affirmation will help your child build a strong self-image and self-esteem and most importantly help them gain pride and confidence in their racial identity. Also, fortify them with scriptures like Philippians 4:13, Ephesians 6:10-14, and many other confidence-boosting biblical passages.

One of the dangers of racism is that it creates an illusion in the minds of children of color that being black is a curse that makes them unworthy of good things in life, such as achieving their dreams or freedom. 

It is our duty as parents or caregivers to always teach and affirm children to have a positive projection of themselves so that they don’t succumb to stereotypes and microaggressions.

You can positively affirm your colored child's existence by celebrating their complexion, hair texture and color, even their names and other aspect of their lives. Teach them to think and speak proudly of themselves and make them understand that they must never downplay their culture. 

Never underestimate the power of words. Try to include words of positive affirmation in every event or situation as a mean of uplifting your child’s spirit

3. Motivate Them 

Motivation is important in boosting the confidence and pride of your child in the face of racial discrimination. You can do this by teaching them about how they originated from brave, successful, and resilient ancestors. 

Use motivational stories, movies, and poetry to communicate with their consciousness. Let them know they are from people who have survived centuries of despicable acts, systems, and policies. 

Also, tell them the many remarkable feats their ancestors have achieved in many different fields. Tell them of the many amazing inventions from colored people toward making the lives of others better.

Teach them about the many styles of music and amazing dance styles invented by black people that are celebrated all over the world. Tell them inspirational stories of how black people before them continually survived racism at all levels and forms. Make them know that even in the face of racism, they too must survive because they are descendants of tough and resilient people.

4. Provide Emotional Support and a Sense of Family

You must develop good listening skills, make sure you listen to your children as they are bound to have different questions or reactions to many different experiences they have as they grow. By giving your child a listening ear, you are helping them express their feelings rather than bottling them up and suffering in silence. 

They also need your support, compassion, and validation. When you listen to them vent their worries and frustration, learn to ask them what you can do to help. If they recently witnessed a racial attack and are scared, you need to let them know that their feelings are normal and that you share the same hurt but must stay calm and do the right thing no matter what.

Psalm 31:23-24 says, “Love the LORD, all you faithful followers of his! The LORD protects those who have integrity, but he pays back in full the one who acts arrogantly. Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the LORD." 

By teaching your child to be calm and resilient in the face of racism and all manners of discrimination, you are boosting their chances of spiritually thriving in the unfair world. 

5.  Control Yourself

If you are a black parent or are in an interracial marriage, chances are that you too have already had your fair share of racial attacks. You might suffer with anxiety attacks from these past or present experiences. 

Even if you are not or were never a direct victim of racial discrimination, you might worry for your child who is constantly being exposed to this terrible sin. You might be overwhelmed with the fear of the safety of your child all the time, most especially when they are not within your reach. 

Philippians 4:6 encourages us: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." 

You must try to be calm and not let your child see this anxiety in you; otherwise, they might become worried for you and even weary of communicating their experiences and troubles with you. 

Conversations about racism must be carried out by parents. Similarly, given the rise in anti-Asian violence, parents of Asian descent need to have more conversations about racism.

Racism is and has been woven tightly into the fabric of our nation, so these discussions should begin in our homes at a young age. 

Racism should be discussed in all families, regardless of race, ethnicity, or cultural background.  

1 Corinthians 13:4-5: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs”. 

We all have biases, and we must raise the next generation of youth to love as Christ loves.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/zGel

Emmanuel Abimbola headshotEmmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.

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