Although you live in a multi-racial society with people of many ethnicities, unfortunately, there are still racists around.
And chances are, your child will observe (or perhaps be a victim of) such racism – perhaps at kindergarten, some of the youngsters have already taunted one of their peers about his darker skin, or about his small eyes and flat nose, or maybe mentioned his race.
That’s why now is a good time to start talking to your five-year-old about intolerance because her ideas about race are starting to form.
Don’t feel awkward talking about racism. The easiest way is to start off the discussion is by using everyday instances.
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For example, when your child chooses apples at the supermarket, you can say: “You see that some of them are red, and some are green. They’re all different on the outside but they’re really all the same on the inside. People are like that, too. We’re all the same on the inside, even if we look different.”
Then take the conversation on from there to explore her views about different racial groups.
Some parents prefer to use a child-centred book to start a conversation about racism, and there are plenty available specifically for this purpose.
You’ll find a huge range online, and if you are not sure which book would be most suitable for your child, ask her teacher for advice or go to the library or bookshop.