Welcome back! We are more than halfway through this series. I hope that you are enjoying it so far. Remember, this post builds upon the previous one. In addition to the suggestions listed below, check out the posts for Toddlers and Preschoolers and Babies (yes, babies!). Incorporate as many suggestions as you can. As you go along, you will see just how much these interventions all interact with and contribute to one another. Enjoy!
This is a time of significant cognitive development for kids. Children are now much more logical and linear in their thought process. Their thoughts are not as egocentric, meaning they are able to see how events affect other people and not just them directly. Children can also see how different events are connected and contribute to one another. This cognitive development mirrors their linguistic development, meaning that children are actually able to have conversations about the things that they observe. Therefore, this is a great time to start having real conversations with kids about race. They can actually talk about what they see and hear. Be careful to tailor your language to an age-appropriate level, but do not water down your conversations. Be direct, open, and honest.
Remember that this list builds from the last one. Many of the suggestions in the Toddlers & Preschoolers post are applicable to School-Aged Kids so check it out and apply some of your favorites. Do you have other ideas? Post them in the comments below! And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter! Check back in a few days for tips on kids who hardly seem like they are kids anymore: Teenagers.
Dr. Sweeney is a licensed school psychologist and cultural competence expert. Here are her musings on life in a multicultural world.
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