Here are ways that parents can help to prepare children to confront prejudice and discrimination. These suggestions have been compiled from resources listed on Page 28. 1. BUILD AND NURTURE YOUR CHILDREN'S SELF-ESTEEM EVERY DAY. Set aside a minimum of 10 minutes each day for uninterrupted, supportive time with them. Identify and praise their unique qualities. Build a minimum of 10 positives into your conversation every day. Compliment your children when they do something that makes them feel competent. Avoid being overly critical.
2. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN POSITIVE VALUES. Provide values that will lay the foundation for success in life regardless of color, ethnic or religious group. Values include importance of an education and lifelong learning; self-discipline; perseverance; respect for people and their differences; commitment to excellence; sense of humor; love of family, friends, and those not so fortunate; honesty; fairness; curiosity; cooperation; capacity to risk; willingness to teach and help others; courage and strength; an ability to set and pursue goals; a capacity to dream; a desire to make things better.
3. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN HONESTLY, OPENLY AND LOVINGLY ABOUT THEIR RACIAL OR ETHNIC GROUP. Help them understand that they are different and the world is filled with people who are different and that's OK.
4. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO APPRECIATE AND RESPECT PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT. Encourage them to learn about people who come from other countries, speak other languages, have a different culture.
5. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO FEEL PROUD OF UNIQUENESS OF RACIAL OR ETHNIC STATUS. Include dolls and books in their toy collection and library that represent their racial or ethnic group. Teach about historical, contemporary and family heroes. Provide biographies on members of minority groups who have been successful in the fields of politics, education, business, science, media, publishing, entertainment, fine arts, music, culture and sports. Expose your children to art, literature and cultural programs that represent their racial, ethnic, or religious group.
6. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THAT PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION EXIST BUT THEY ARE WRONG AND UNFAIR. Make your children aware of their rights and opportunities, and the rights of others. Help them to identify racism when it exists. Do not permit them to use minority group status as an excuse for inferior performance.
7.TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WHAT TO DO WHEN FACED WITH PREJUDICE, DISCRIMINATION, OR A RACIAL SLUR. Children need to have a repertoire of ways to respond to discrimination. Sometimes they might feel like crying. Other times the best response is to ignore the incident. And there are times when they should speak out against it. Mostly, children need to know it's important to discuss their experiences with you. Children should always stand with their heads high and never feel ashamed of being a member of a racial or ethnic group.
8. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN NOT TO PREJUDGE. Encourage them to evaluate people on their inner qualities, not on their appearance.
9. BECOME ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THE ELIMINATION OF PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION. Encourage your children to speak up and work toward the elimination of prejudice and discrimination.