Research has clearly demonstrated that babies recognize when faces are of a race different from their own. Of course, at this young age, babies do not hold negative (or positive) beliefs about these racial differences. When do children begin making judgments around racial differences? And, what creates and influences the development of these judgments?
Parents may think that there is very little they can do to influence their children’s biases or feel that prejudice-reduction is a daunting task. But if we are to impact bias in the long-term, we must come to grips with how bias is transmitted early in life and fed by a system of segregation and negative societal views. Parents, it turns out, can make an important contribution.
The bad news and the very good news is that parenting greatly influences racial bias in children. This week’s parenting resource from Berkeley’s Great Good Science Center provides us with suggestions on how we can help reduce negative bias. In addition to the helpful suggestions from Berkeley’s Great Good Science Center, the TLC professionals strongly suggest sharing books with our young children with illustrations representing diverse families. Click HERE for a wonderful list of picture books that celebrate diversity.