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Raising Children Free of Prejudice

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Making Diversity a Part of Life

White children need to see people of other ethnic groups and races as being part of their daily lives. Ideally, this means coming to know neighbors, school mates, and family friends of different races. Many of our neighborhoods, however, are so racially segregated that there is very little chance for this to happen. Parents can make sure, though, that their children have multicultural toys and storybooks, and that the television programs and movies they watch are racially and culturally diverse.

But even where communities and schools are integrated, there can be problems. Many white parents ask what they can do if their children have had negative experiences -- such as fights -- with children of color. The answer is: You need to try to help your child have good experiences with other playmates from that ethnic group or race. And you need to remind your child -- as all parents should remind their children when they experience prejudice -- that there are good and bad people in all races. You can point out that your child has white playmates he may not like, but that doesn't make him dislike all white children.

Next: Bad Feelings and Good Friendships

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