How do I talk to my kids about race?

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Parents, are you struggling with how to address the recent racial tension that has exploded across the United States? At Connected Families we are on the side of Justice, Grace and Peace, without any judgment about how to legislate those values. We know that getting there requires humility and true curiosity. The following is a process for entering volatile topics that we’ve found extremely helpful for those wishing to increase in wisdom for seeking solutions. We invite you to consider the conversations you’ve had or could have regarding events related to the recent unrest in Ferguson.

FIRST: Ask and Listen – to broaden your own understanding.

Do you hear confusion? Do you hear pain? Do you seek to understand varying perspectives? Without this sort of thoughtful listening history will just repeat itself.

SECOND: Engage your kids.

Find out what your children are hearing or learning. Discuss together how to step into the shoes of people from all different perspectives. Try to at least articulate those perspectives, even if you don’t agree.

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Photo Credit: andyross iStockphoto.com

THIRD: Pray for and work toward solutions in our country and own your part.

Ask kids how they want to be part of the solution. Pray together for the people in our country hurting because of racial tension. Consider what you could do in your own sphere of relationships to build bridges across cultures. Pray for the reconciling power of the gospel to bring true unity to our nation.

Your kids are watching. What you say and do during times like this will make a huge impression on how your kids view race and racial issues in America for years to come. Remember that avoidance solves nothing. But compassionate discussion is the way to move forward.

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