How To Talk To Children About Discrimination

Read time: 4 minutes

The word discrimination itself contains a lot of controversy in itself. As it is quite difficult for adults to digest it happening/ facing, it is far harder for sensitive children to understand it. Children already feel themselves a victim of minor discrimination according to the consequences they face among their siblings, classmates, and friends. Considering this aspect of children, talking about discrimination to children should be way too logical. Having said that, simply explaining kids will end up in making them feel worse, a tactful tone should be used.


talking to your child about discrimination


Adults may think they are creating a race-free environment for their kids by not talking about the topic, but researches have proved that as the children can identify colors in general, they can also distinguish the skin colors of the people they see around them. By ignoring the topic, children can form a perception in their brain and might believe their own thoughts regarding differences. The differences kids notice may appear more important to them than they are in reality as they do not question their parents or parents do not discuss it. The kids won’t hesitate if they will know a few things to clear their minds that it is not a taboo topic to be discussed.


Parents have to talk about race and ethnicity with their children in an early age because that is when they are shaping their beliefs. They already noticed the differences, so it is important to address it and make them realize that their differences do not make them any lesser of a human being. The impact will be amazing; children will not hesitate to be friends with them. Everyone is supposed to be loved and admired regardless of the skin tone they possess. Research in this regard can support my point appropriately.

different races

Picture from Relato.Gt

Rebecca Bigler claims that kids are generally prone to liking whatever is similar and more familiar to them. Moreover, their preferences are self-assumed. To prove it, she followed and experimented in three different classrooms. The kids were ranging from 4 to 5 years old. They were randomly given T-shirts of blue and red color to form two equal groups. The kids were supposed to wear it for three weeks. The teachers didn’t group the kids according to their shirt color, the kids did not segregate. They play with each other as they usually do. But as soon as they were asked about the best team as per the color of their shirt, or which team should win the race, all the kids chose the color of their own shirt.

The kids, either in red or blue T-shirts, never showed any hatred or discrimination towards one another, although they preferred their color in every aspect. Bigler’s conclusion was that children take all that is given to them by parents or teachers in their learning years. Divisions only appears when we consider it a difference, though it is really not. Seeing this impact on children’s minds, isn’t it better to talk to them before they make their own assumptions that everything that is similar to them is better?


Here are some tips you can do:

  • Children possess natural categorization patterns for everything, and the most visible attribute is what they use to distinct things; therefore, bring to your child`s attention that the color difference they can see is the differences in race or ethnicity of the world.

  • Teach them there is none is prior even if he is white and rich, indigenous and rich, white and poor, indigenous and poor, or vice versa.

  • Let them notice that a garbage man or a gardener might earn less, but these are all honest and dignified jobs.

  • We can have different physical aspects, jobs, can come from different backgrounds but that does not make any of us better than the other one. Every human being should be treated with respect and dignity.

  • Encourage your children to stand up for others when they notice they have been treated unfairly.

  • Read a book to your child and discuss about it.


Book Recommendation


Below you can find a few books which you can start with:


The Skin you Live In

The skin you live in

Minimum Age: 4
Maximum Age: 8

Purchase book 


I didn´t stand up..


I didn’t stand up

Minimum Age: 6
Maximum Age: 9

Purchase book


Let´s talk about race.

Let´s talk about race

Minimum Age: 4
Maximum Age: 8

Purchase book


We´re different, we´re the same


We are different, we are the same

Minimum Age: 3
Maximum Age: 7

Purchase Book


Skin Again


Skin Again

Minimum Age: 4
Maximum Age: 

Purchase Book


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