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EARLY YEARS: Tips on how to start the conversation about racism with your children

 Macaroni Kid Roanoke publisher Beth Bell says discussions about racism need to start early
Macaroni Kid Roanoke publisher Beth Bell says discussions about racism need to start early (WDBJ)
Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 5:08 AM EDT
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Recent events across the country have put a new spotlight on the issue of racism. It's a tough topic for any age, but can be especially confusing for children.

Macaroni Kid Roanoke publisher Beth Bell says as a rule, parents need to do a better job of talking to their kids about racism.

"We teach them to, hopefully we teach them to go up to the kids who's not playing with anyone on a playground, like why wouldn't we teach to stand up to people who are being hurt because of the color of their skin."

Bell says while talking to your kids, give examples of people they know personally who may have encountered racism. Nurturing that awareness can start early on.

"Especially if they're really young children that there are people hurting, and being hurt, they've been hurting for a really long time."

Bell says it's also important to set a good example for your kids, and show them how you build strong relationships with people of all races and cultures.

"Be very intentional in who you hang out with. What does your friend circle look like? What do your neighbors look like? Who do you invite to your cookouts and that kind of thing," says Bell.

She says parents should teach kids about notable figures in black history, and be more mindful about where they spend their money. Supporting black- owned businesses is one important way to bridge the racial divide.

"I just think that we all need help and these are such little things we can do. But if we can help point people in the right direction, and make it easier, then I think it will make us all heal faster."

You can find some resources to help get the conversation about racism started on Macaroni Kid Roanoke's

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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