I was watching a CNN special that Anderson Cooper did on how kids view other kids. Almost every child (white and black) said that the white child was the smartest/good-looking, the black child was the dumbest/ugly. I'm a black woman, btw. The study wasn't the best, and only target black and white families.
Growing up, my parents told me about the stereotypes and stigmas of each race/ethnicity. They taught me that even though someone has a different skin color than you doesn't mean that they are any better than you are. They also taught me that some people may not like me because of my skin color. (I've actually been told by a classmate at 15 that his parents taught him to not become friends with blacks or Hispanics; however, he still did)
If you're interested, here's the links:
http://youtu.be/Sm_CfET1Ffg (Parent reaction to child's answer)
http://youtu.be/EQACkg5i4AY (Children picking which child is smarter, dumber, etc.)
http://youtu.be/nFbvBJULVnc (Older kids view)
http://youtu.be/Sm_CfET1Ffg (Home influence on kids)
DD is 5. She knows that some people look different than others, but we haven't really talked about differences other than occasionally seeing a special needs person while out and about. She views everyone as being the same, just different colors. When she gets older, we'll probably talk more about stereotypes and such.
I've explained to my children that no matter the race, skin color, accent or any other reason should anyone be treated differently.
They're mixed race & I explain quiet often why it is so important to never judge someone by appearance. I've told them about the stereotypes & why it is complete Bs.
They've come to me on more than a few occasions asking questions because someone at school world make racial remarks toward them.
I tell my son that no race is any better than the other. We all bleed red. We all mourn the loss of a loved one the same. What matters is not what some one looks like on the outside but what is inside one's heart does.
Everyone deserves respect as well. Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you. I believe in karma.
i think ive said something maybe once or twice that everyone is a different color and there really is no such thing as race. we are all one species with different colored skin, hair, etc..its like saying a darker colored blue jay is a different race than a lighter colored blue jay lol. unfortunatley not every one sees it like that. but since we are christian, i tell them that God loves all of us and He made us all because we are all special in our own ways. plus my oldest is in kindy and he just learned about different colored ppl when his class was learning about mlk day.
A neighbor of mine has a friend who is black who visits pretty regularly and a few weeks ago when we were all outside talking, my DS looks up at her and says "You got dirt." She thought he meant she had dirt on her clothes so she's looking around and he starts rubbing on her arm. I about choked. We live in a primarily white town and she is really the only black person he has met. She looked at me, waiting for me to respond and I said "No, baby, that's what color her skin is. See, you have white skin, and she has brown skin...it's not dirty" He looked at me like I was crazy then smiled at her and said "I like brown" She started laughing and said "I do too" He ran off to play then came back and climbed up in her lap and just kept touching her arms and smiling then kissed both her hands. Now when she comes by she calls him "Dirt" lol
I don't think we have to teach kids to love people who are different, I think we just have to stop teaching them to hate people who are.