How to raise anti-racist kids: 20 resources for parents

Here's an age-by-age guide. 👇

how to raise anti-racist kids

As parents, we all want to raise good humans. Part of the process of raising good human beings is finding a way to navigate difficult—even painful—topics with our kids. They need to hear from us, both out loud and by example, what we know to be right—and what we know to be wrong.

Unfortunately, we don't always have the choice to put off tough conversations until "the time is right," or until we think our kids are "old enough," as African-American parents and parents of children of color already know. Nationwide protests for racial justice are a powerful reminder that parents of all backgrounds need to be pro-active in raising children to understand racism and discrimination, and helping our kids to be a force for positive change in the world.

Want to raise an actively anti-racist child? Here are some resources that can help, tailored to every age group.

Resources for parents

Parents, it all starts with you. It's important for us parents to keep educating ourselves about how to advocate effectively for others, as well as how to talk about race and racism with our kids.

Talking race with young children is a 20-minute podcast from NPR featuring Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for Social Impact at Sesame Workshop and a co-author of the Sesame Workshop Identity Matters Study, and Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? It's a great place to begin.

The Children's Community School of Philadelphia created a great list of resources for parents to accompany their viral infographic showing how children's attitudes toward race and difference develop, age by age.

Doing Good Together offers a wealth of resources for parents for teaching young children about race, getting involved in the fight for racial justice, teaching tolerance and diversifying your kids' bookshelves, toy boxes and Netflix queues.

Anti-racism resources for white people, a widely-shared Google doc, lists videos to watch, articles to read, podcasts to listen to, social media accounts to follow and books to read that can form a solid foundation for understanding racism in America.

75 things white people can do for racial justice is a deeply-researched, frequently-updated document curated by Medium contributor Corinne Shutack that provides a checklist of action items to help fight back against racism.

Resources for toddlers + preschoolers

When it comes to younger kids, play, storytelling and modeling the behaviors we want them to emulate are the best ways to teach any subject—and that especially includes celebrating difference and rejecting racism.

The Brown Bookshelf promotes African American children's book authors and illustrators.

The Conscious Kid, an advocacy group that works to raise awareness through literature, offers book bundles focused on racial and social justice for children ages 0-3 (and beyond).

Brightly, a website created by the publisher Penguin Random House to help support children's books, has a guide to diversifying your child's bookshelf—and why you should.

No Time for Flashcards, a resource for early educators, suggests a list of toys for toddlers and preschoolers that help reinforce positive relationships with people of all backgrounds, from a plush basket of snuggly dolls with a range of skin tones to a crayon pack and coloring book that encourage kids to celebrate the diversity of the world.

Games and puzzles featuring children from a variety of cultures can help foster a sense of familiarity and comfort with difference, including this chunky puzzle and this award-winning memory game.

Resources for elementary school kids

As kids grow, hearing stories that reveal a wide range of perspectives and seeing their parents and caregivers "walking the walk" continue to be the best teaching tools. As parents, we should also engage our elementary-school-aged kids in regular conversations about racial discrimination.

Common Sense Media offers a guide for parents to help us use movies, television and streaming media as tools for learning about racism and starting conversations about racial justice and inequality.

Coretta Scott King award-winning children's books from the past 10 years are listed and reviewed by age group (from 2 to teen, but most are for kids ages 5 to 12) on the Common Sense Media. They also maintain a list of award-winning children's books about the African-American experience.

31 children's books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance are listed by Embrace Race, a community and advocacy site for parents.

Here Wee Read offers curated selections of picture books, chapter books, graphic novels and middle readers available from the independent online bookseller Bookshop, with collections ranging from graphic novels about African American characters to picture books about the Harlem Renaissance.

The Zinn Education Project offers films, articles, digital media collections and more interactive resources about racism and racial identity for kids from kindergarten to teen—filter by age group to find resources tailored to your child's age.

Resources for teens

Teenagers tend to be acutely aware of injustice in their schools, their social circles and their world. At this age, they want parents to offer guidance on how to be active allies for causes they believe in, and they need resources to help them navigate the challenge of racism as independent critical thinkers.

The guide to allyship, an "evolving open-source guide" for helping people outside of the African-American community "become a more thoughtful and effective ally," has helpful discussion guides and resources.

Anatomy of an ally, from the educators' organization Teaching Tolerance, offers a checklist of ways teenagers (and adults) can listen, check in, support and stand up for peers facing racial injustice.

Buzzfeed has a well-curated list of videos, books, podcasts, conversation starters, social accounts and places to donate that can help white teenagers become educated and active on behalf of racial justice.

Be the Change! is a program for teenagers developed by the Unitarian Universalist Church but intended for use by youth from all religious and cultural backgrounds. They've also curated a great collection of streaming videos to help teenagers educate themselves about race and identity.

At every age, our kids are looking to us to help guide them—both by giving them the learning tools they need to thrive and by showing them through our own example what is right. We hope these resources can be a starting point for your family in the lifelong effort to be friends, allies and advocates for all people.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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