Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Babies Discriminate ... What Do Parents Do?

It is not a surprise to those of us who study emotional intelligence that children learn from how we are, how we feel and what we do rather than what we say.

"Practice what you preach" is an important concept to everyone, and especially with children, who don't miss a cue.

This is from the article "See Baby Discriminate: Kids as young as 6 months judge others based on skin color. What's a parent to do?"

At this point, something interesting happened. Five families in the last group abruptly quit the study. Two directly told Vittrup, "We don't want to have these conversations with our child. We don't want to point out skin color."

Vittrup was taken aback—these families volunteered knowing full well it was a study of children's racial attitudes. Yet once they were aware that the study required talking openly about race, they started dropping out.

It was no surprise that in a liberal city like Austin, every parent was a welcoming multiculturalist, embracing diversity. But according to Vittrup's entry surveys, hardly any of these white parents had ever talked to their children directly about race. They might have asserted vague principles—like "Everybody's equal" or "God made all of us" or "Under the skin, we're all the same"—but they'd almost never called attention to racial differences.

They wanted their children to grow up colorblind ...

Those "discussions" with children are very important, probably primarily because they help US, the parents, to get into integrity about how we think, feel and act.

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