Should We Talk About Race With Our Kids?

Social_Studies_Old[1]

I'm slowly making my way through the book, Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children.  So far I've interacted with just the first two chapters.

Chapter three poses an interesting question.  Should we teach children about race and skin color?  Does it make them "better off" or "worse"?   It seems there are two perspectives on the issue.  One asserts that children learn best by example, so merely exposing them to people of different races and cultures is enough.  The classic example is sending your child to a racially diverse school so they will be racially sensitive.  The other perspective is to talk about race as early as possible with your kids because they are already forming conclusions even though they may seem "color-blind".

So, do we make it worse, or do we make it better, by calling attention to race?  My view is that we need to talk openly with our children about race because it's something God is very open about--and I would argue--very excited about!  From Genesis to Revelation we see that his desire is to fill the earth with human beings of all races and cultures saving some to worship before the throne and before the Lamb.  So yes, we should talk about race with our children. 

  • We should talk about how all human beings are made in the image of God
  • We should talk about the beauty of God's diverse creation
  • We should talk about how we are called to love all people because Christ loves all people 

Children's minds are like sponges.  They are soaking up whatever they hear and see.  So parents, let's teach the gospel and live in the power of the gospel; it's our only hope as John Piper says below:

This is the power to love people different from ourselves. This is the key we give to our children. And above all this is the key to the grace that enables us to be this kind of parent. We live day by day from the love of God in the gospel of Jesus. May God grant our children to see it and in the power of it love others different from themselves.

  • Read John Piper's 8 Ways to Help Children Love Different People