Written by Nindy Silvia Anggraini, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia
At an early age, children will pay attention to physical differences, including skin color. Research shows that 5 years old children can show signs of racial bias, such as treating people from one racial group better than another. Surely parents need to be called consciously the following racism. Parents need to talk in a way that is easy-to-learn for their children to understand. Ignoring or avoiding the topic of racism is the same way as not protecting children. By choosing not to care, is the same thing as exposing them to the bias that exists wherever we live. Moreover, this happens to children who experience racism. If no one cares about this, and the child is not easy to tell, then they will be psychologically hurt.
Through conversations between parents and their children, parents can help children to think and talk about racial inequality that is around as a step towards creating a more complete society. Children needed to be convinced that their parents would do anything to ensure their safety. However, the fact that some young people are less secure than others in the outside world because of their race provides the opportunity to teach all children about injustice. This is also an opportunity for children to develop empathy, compassion, and citizenship – learning about roles that can help their families in improving society.
But, we often find in Indonesia, in the region around us, parents protect their children excessively and make their children think and act as perpetrators of racism, whether through small things like speech to violence. A superior sense arises due to excessive protection. For example the assumption in Indonesia that those who have light and fairy skin are beautiful. This could also be caused by the historical factor of Indonesia which was a former colony of white people who were then considered as the upper class. It is difficult to leave this long-standing identity. However, precisely departing from parents, as the foundation of children’s learning, as much as possible parents educate themselves about this and instill teachings to their children that all are born the same. It must be declared that the difference that is present in their environment is diversity.
Parents must be able to talk about race and must adjust how they frame the conversation according to the child’s age. Children’s questions and problems will change as they grow. Adults do not always have the answer! And when children ask “Why?” It’s okay for parents to say, “I don’t know; let’s find out together. ” Children are observers who learn about how people work to overcome problems regarding racial problems and inequality. Use convenient ways to introduce children to various cultures and people of various races and ethnicities. Invite children to interact directly with a variety of people from various ethnic groups, races, ethnicities, cultures, and religions also foster empathic feelings and instill positive thinking. Explore food from other cultures, read stories, and watch films of different types of races and tribes. Parents also need extra attention to the content of bias racial in books and films and look for people who portray people from different racial and ethnic groups in various roles, consider stories that feature minority actors who play complex characters or main characters, which can be very helpful in dealing with racial and discriminatory stereotypes. Parents are an example for their children and an introduction of children to the world. Here it means, what they see and what you do is as important as what they hear.