Family Tested Advice: How to Deal With Prejudice

Photo by fotologic, via Flickr (CC)

We asked some Canadian parents for some advice on life’s trickier subjects. Here’s what they had to say.

How have you prepared your kids to deal with prejudice?

“Thanks to the national Kick-a-Ginger Day movement, I had to break down the roots of racism and prejudice for my nine-year-old redhead. He asked why people would care what colour hair he had and try to hurt him for it. We responded that, generally speaking, any of the usual reasons used as an excuse to hurt, exclude or hate another person were usually as silly as hair colour. We tried to show him that it was not a one-time event. It was something that needs to be repeatedly fought against.”

– Sara Penny, mom of Ben, 9, and Michael, 6, Cambridge, Ont.

“Being a parent of a multi-racial child, I constantly try to ensure that my daughter understands that there is nothing wrong with her skin colour or the skin colour of any other child. It’s what’s inside that counts. This lesson is very important for her to understand and is something I take very seriously. But boy, do I wish I didn’t have to.”

– Adam Brooks, dad of Taylor, 5, Toronto

“As a same-sex couple, we have been targets for comments like, ‘You are sinners, you should not be allowed children.’ As much as part of us wants to defend ourselves, we have learned it is not worth it. Thankfully, we have the benefit of allowing our kids to grow up in a society that is more accepting to same-sex couples. We read them books that depict two fathers or two mothers. Our kids will always know that being gay is not a sin, it is only about love, and believe me, both our kids know how much they are loved.”

– Stephan Howard, dad of Mari-Sol, 2, and 7-month-old Benjamin, Toronto

For more advice on tacking prejudice, check out:

Talking to Your Child about Prejudice

How to Prepare Your Child for a World of Prejudice

And do you have advice for dealing with prejudice? Share it with your fellow parents in the comments below!

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