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Suggestions for Talking with Children & Teens about Hate and Intolerance:

  • Acknowledge that hate groups exist and that their messages are threatening.
  • Keep children and teens away from the scene of hate demonstrations or events. Find alternative and safe places to discuss the issues and voice opinions.
  • Let children and teens know that there are professionals who are trained to handle the situation and reassure them they are safe.
  • Recognize that children, especially those older than age nine, often are more aware of what’s happening in the news than parents realize.
  • Take time to talk about your personal reactions in age-appropriate language. It is helpful for children and teens to understand their parents’ perception of the situation.
  • Encourage children and teens to talk about their feelings and help them find ways to express themselves in non-violent ways.
  • Involve children and teens in deciding how to respond. When they are uncomfortable or outraged by a situation, it is comforting for them to voice their opinion.
  • Encourage respect for diversity by teaching understanding and talking in a positive way about differences.
  • Seek out multicultural activities, books or websites that encourage family participation.
  • Make children and teens aware of your disapproval if you hear them use insensitive language.
  • Remember that you are a role model and you can teach your child tolerance and acceptance.


For more information visit:


Or Call:

ParentLink Warmline
English 1-800-552-8522 Spanish 1-888-460-0008






Source: Kim Allen, M.A., M.F.T., Associate State Specialist
Director, Center on Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy and Parenting (CASPP), Human Development & Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension



Last Updated 05/05/2009









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