racism: 4 Articles

Ouch! Moments: Strategies to Help Your Child Understand Microaggressions

You may have heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But the fact is, words can hurt. Young people have a wonderful capacity to care about each other. However, they need guidance, mentoring, and modeling to understand the impact of their words and behaviors. ...the fact is, words can hurt. Magination Press book, Ouch! Moments: When Words Are Used in Hurtful Ways by Michael Genhart, PhD, illustrated by Viviana Garofoli, helps to increase awareness in children about what “ouch moments” are, how and where they occur, and what kids can do about them. This excerpt from the book’s Note to Parents and Caregivers, by Kevin L. Nadal, PhD, provides information about microaggressions and strategies for parents to help their children understand them. What Are Microaggressions? Microaggressions, or “ouch moments” are brief exchanges where an indignity, insult, or slight is expressed—whether intentionally or not—from one person to another (especially towards members of minority or oppressed groups). Microaggressions are often subtle. The children expressing them may not even realize that they are being biased or offensive. For example, when a child is left out of a playgroup or friendship circle because they are different, that child may be ridiculed directly, or the exclusion may be more subtle. When the exclusion is more subtle, it can be difficult to prove that it is based on one of the child’s identities (such as race, social class, or ability status). The child excluded can often feel marginalized, isolated, and rejected without understanding why. Certain words or phrases that some people might view as harmless can also be microaggressions. For instance, when children use words like “lame” or “gay” to mean that something is bad, weird, or different, they communicate a message that having a disability or being part of the LGBTQ community is equal to being bad, weird, or different. These children are likely not trying to be hurtful toward these groups, they may just be repeating words they have heard and may not realize the discriminatory connotations. However, for children with disabilities or those who are questioning their sexual orientation, or children with LGBTQ parents, hearing words like these can be quite hurtful and may teach them to internalize negative messages about their identities. Many microaggressions are based on gender. Most girls and boys are taught the importance of conforming to certain gender roles such as boys aren’t supposed to cry or girls are supposed to be demure. Because these gender roles are so pervasive in our society, women and men tend to internalize these norms well into their adult lives.  What Parents and Caregivers Can Do Research on microaggressions between adults shows that these “ouch moments” often result in problems like depression and low self-esteem. Talking about these instances with your child is one way that you can promote your child’s psychological health and wellbeing and help her or him avoid internalizing hurtful messages. When your child is the target of a microaggression

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Ouch! Moments: Strategies to Help Your Child Understand Microaggressions 2020-07-17T19:02:24-04:00

Something Happened in Our Town

A Black man is shot by a policeman, and Emma and Josh have questions. Emma asks her mom, "Why did the police shoot that man?"  Josh asks his mom, "Can police go to jail?" Both families, one Black and one White, talk about the shooting, about the history of racial injustice in the United States, and about how they can help break the pattern of racism. Hear authors, Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP, read their book Something Happened in Our Town, aloud. For resources about how to read the book aloud with kids, click here. For a list of books and resources, click here.

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Something Happened in Our Town 2020-06-09T16:54:20-04:00

Three Ways to Support Your Biracial Child

There are an estimated seven million people in the United States who identify as biracial, multiracial, or mixed race. Millions of Americans are asked, on a daily basis, "What are you?" Lynnette Mawhinney, PhD, author of Magination Press book, Lulu the One and Only shares insights about what it is to be a biracial child and tips for helping support the emotional development of biracial children in this excerpt from her Author's Note. There are many beauties to being mixed race, but one complexity is that both parents do not share the same identity as their children. It is often hard for parents to understand the perspective of their children, and sometimes mixed-race children feel alone in their experiences. In Lulu the One and Only, Lulu is fortunate to have a big brother, Zane, to help her understand what to do when people ask, "What are you?" He helps her find her power phrase—a tool to help mixed race children learn how to navigate their emotions and responses to this question. There are certain practices parents can use to assist in the emotional development of their biracial children. Talk about race. Even in multicultural families, parents may avoid dialogues about race. Do not be afraid to talk about race and all the complexities that come as a family. This helps children establish a language around race while having the opportunity to articulate their emotions in a safe environment. Listen. Since biracial children have experiences that may be different from your own, do not feel obligated to act as though you understand their perspective. Sometimes children just need to be heard, valued, and feel supported in their experiences. Work on developing self-love. Unfortunately there is no escaping THAT QUESTION. People will ask, "What are you?" Self-love is critical in instances when your child is challenged for how he or she looks. Self-love is an intentional process. The power phrase helps children embrace self-love when others might challenge who they are. Hear author, Lynnette Mawhinney, read Lulu the One and Only aloud here.

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Three Ways to Support Your Biracial Child 2020-06-02T15:52:50-04:00