Menu
teaching race conscious children

As author and New York Times columnist Charles Blow writes, "We must acknowledge—with eyes and minds wide open—the world as it is if we want to change it."

Adults often express the fear of "pointing out" race to their children. But research widely acknowledges that infants as young as 6 months old can categorize by race. Research also shows that talking explicitly about race with children creates more positive attitudes about people of different races.

Color-blindness ignores the reality of racism. In contrast, race-consciousness acknowledges racism. This is an essential first step if our children are to challenge and change this reality.

We can start talking about race even if we don't have all the answers. We can start talking about race even if we are afraid we will say the wrong thing.


It is inevitable that we will make mistakes—that's a part of the process. But if we commit to collectively trying to talk about race with young children, we can lean on one another for support as we, together, envision a world where we actively challenge racism each and every day. It starts one conversation at a time.

Here are some ways white parents can talk about race and diversity with young children.

1. Use proactive language around race vs. skin color

"Usually people call people who look like us 'White,' even though our skin isn't actually White. Usually people call other people with very dark skin 'Black,' even though their skin isn't actually Black."

2. Explain what racism is—and don't wait, it's never "too early" to talk about racism

"A racist is someone who is mean to another person based on the color of their skin. See your skin? People call that White skin. Other people have different color skin."

3. Explain racist terminology and why it is not to be used

"The N-word is a terrible, horrible name used against Black people. It is a powerful insult meant to treat Black people as less than human."

4. Celebrate multi-racial families

"We don't know what relationship people have with one another without asking…because you can't know which person belongs to another just by looking at them."

5. Point out when books, movies or television shows don't reflect diversity

"It's interesting that all the people in this book have pale skin that we call White. This doesn't look like where we live, where there are people with all different shades of skin."

6. Model why it's important to understand a variety of perspectives

"There are lots of people in the world whose lives and experiences are very different from ours and if we only read books about White characters, our understanding of the world leaves out a lot of what the world is like."

7. Identify what Black Lives Matter really means

"Even though people who are Black aren't slaves anymore, the history of slavery means that, today, people who are Black still are discriminated against. That means that they aren't treated fairly. But people who are White, like us, don't experience this discrimination. And that's really unfair. So now there is a movement called 'Black Lives Matter' where people are standing up and saying, 'We want justice! Black people need to be treated fairly."

8. Help children understand the concept of privilege and how it works

"If you are white and you commit a crime, like stealing something, the police might say 'that was wrong, don't do that again,' and that's all…but if you are Black and commit the same crime, they might arrest you and you might go to prison. And that isn't fair."

9. Focus compassion on victims of police violence

"George Floyd was a Black Man who was hurt and killed by the police. He was one of too many Black men that the police have hurt and killed. His last words were 'I can't breathe.' …By saying 'I can't breathe,' we are saying that it was wrong that he was hurt and we are standing up for justice for him and his family. We are telling the police it is not okay to hurt people, and we will keep working together until everyone, especially people of color, are treated fairly, with respect and dignity."

10. Inspire activism

In response to a parent's exploration of race with her children, they wrote this letter to the Lego company headquarters: "Dear Lego Friends, I really like your Legos. There are just two problems for me. The girls don't have pants and we need more brown-skinned girls and boys."

Reprinted with permission from posts by Raising Race Conscious Children

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.

$239.99

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.

$219.99

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.

$379.99

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.

$29.99

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.

$99.99

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.

$15.99

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.

$79.99

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.

$99.99

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.

$24.99

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.

$59.99

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.

Our Partners

These kids dishes don’t look like kids dishes

And that's exactly why my toddler loves them. ❤️

My 4.5-year-old is, let's say, spirited in his opinions. He very clearly knows what he wants and doesn't want (oh to have the confidence of a stubborn preschooler!). And what he doesn't want right now is anything that looks too babyish. "That's for babies," he'll say if I give him anything with primary colors or looks too miniature. He doesn't want the baby fork and spoon, he wants what grown-ups use. He doesn't want the baby plastic cups and plates, he wants the glass and ceramic ones.

Well, you can see where this is going.

I had to find something that would satisfy his "not a baby" opinions but still not shatter to pieces if he accidentally drops it on the floor. I had to find him something that's made for kids but doesn't feel made for kids.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

Keep reading Show less
Life