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:
English 1-800-552-8522 Spanish 1-888-460-0008
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/ADA INSTITUTION
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