Talking To Your Kids About Social Injustice

After Zianna Oliphant, a young girl from Charlotte, North Carolina, gave an emotional testimony to the City Council regarding the death of Keith Lamont Scott, I realized it is time to talk to our young ones about racism and other forms of social injustices that plagues the world.

The aftermath of tragic events like police shootings and acts of terrorism can be stressful especially to parents. Why? while trying to make sense of the tradegy, they also have to struggle with explaining the circumstance to their children, especially to the one who is aware. To help with these difficult conversations, read this guide provided by the American Psychological Association.

How To Have The Talk

Think about what you want to say. It’s OK to practice in your head, to a mirror or with another adult. Some advanced planning may make the discussion easier. You won’t have to think about it off the top of your head.

Sankofa Vibe's Input:
I suggest writing down what you want to say as well so that you will not miss any topic or statement you want to get out.

Find a quiet moment. Perhaps this is after dinner or while making the next day’s lunch. This is time and place where your children can be the center of your attention.

Sankofa Vibe's Input: Never do it before bed because at this moment your child is all about getting into bed, and may give you divided attention.

Find out what they know. For example, there was a shooting at a school or a bomb set off in another country. Ask them "What have you heard about this?" And then listen. Listen. Listen. And listen more.

Sankofa Vibe's Input: Never underestimate children. My neice and nephew have shown me how smart and aware children are at just age four and two. You may think your children are unaware, but they are.

Share your feelings with your child. It is OK to acknowledge your feelings with your children. They see you are human. They also get a chance to see that even though upset, you can pull yourself together and continue on. Parents hear it often: Be a role model. This applies to emotions, too.

Sankofa Vibe's Input: this is related to finding out what they know. If your children are aware about the ongoing social issues, most likely they are affected by the circumstance. Often times we believe children are desensitized because of their happy personality, but know that their feelings go beyond feeling happy. Talk to your children and find out how they feel.

For more guidance and resources regarding this topic, visit If you have not seen the emotional testimony of Zianna, view it below.

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