How to Talk To Children About Stereotypes
by Dr. Susan Linn
Getting Past Generalizations
For Ages: Ten and under
“It’s so annoying,” ten-year-old Joshua says between bites. “Linda Chan got another hundred on our math test. I’m not surprised. All those Asian American kids are good at math.” It’s amazing how children absorb societal stereotypes, even if we avoid them at home. Children are aware of racial differences by the time they’re preschoolers. And by the age of 12, children have developed an image of most racial or ethnic groups in America. Only by actively challenging stereotyping can we help our children overcome the lessons they may inadvertently learn from friends, television, and even textbooks.
The Words You Need
Here are some ideas to help you talk with your kids about stereotypes.