Valley Parenting with Identity in Mind

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I Learned Who I Was When:

Parenting with Identity in Mind

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Identity Resources:

Reading Recommendations:

Nurtureshock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman - One of the most influential books about children ever published, Nurture Shock offers a revolutionary new perspective on children that upends a library's worth of conventional wisdom. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, the authors demonstrate that many of modern society's strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring--because key twists in the science have been overlooked. Nothing like a parenting manual, NurtureShock gets to the core of how we grow, learn and live. Among the topics covered: When is it too soon - or too late - to teach a child about race? Children in diverse schools are less likely to have a cross-racial friendship, not more - so is school diversity backfiring? Millions of families are fighting to get their kids into private schools and advanced programs as early as possible. But schools are missing the best kids, 73% of the time - the new neuroscience explains why. Why are kids - even those from the best of homes - still aggressive and cruel? The answer is found in a rethinking of parental conflict, discipline, television's unexpected influence, and social dominance.


Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice

New York, N.Y., October 4, 2000 …Prejudice is contagious. When people are afraid or have actually been hurt, it may be a natural response to want to hurt back—therefore we must teach our children not to fear differences. Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice (Scholastic, 2000)is the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) definitive new handbook for adults and children on confronting and conquering bias and encouraging appreciation for our differences.

"Hate is learned and there is no doubt it can be ‘unlearned,’" said co-authors Caryl Stern-LaRosa, Director of the ADL Education Division, and Ellen Hofheimer Bettmann, ADL Director of Training and Curriculum Resources. "The process of countering negative attitudes with respect, understanding and acceptance must begin at an early age and continue through adolescence."

Divided into three parts, Hate Hurts boldly confronts stereotypes using true stories compiled by the authors from parents and children who have experienced hate firsthand. A guide for any person responsible for children of all ages, Hate Hurts offers practical tips, sound advice and role-playing for difficult situations followed by comprehensive game plans with realistic means to answer questions and help parents solve the troubling issues associated with bias and hate. Some of the questions discussed include:

  • Why are people different colors?
  • Why do people dress differently?
  • Why don’t we pray the same way?
  • Why do people hate?

"We know Hate Hurts," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "History and experience shows us that until we develop a vaccine against hate—against anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and prejudice—the only known antidote we have is education."


Teaching Tolerance publications:

Beyond the Golden Rule and Speak Up.  The first is a parenting guide (30 pages or so), and the second is a strategy guide for how to speak up in different situations when you encounter bias, prejudice, or discrimination.


From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in Pre-K to 12 Schools, by Jennifer Bryan, is a must read book for any and all teachers and parents interested in getting their hands around gender stereotyping: what it is, how it's limiting to all, and how to teach children to overcome it, towards the end of embracing gender and sexual diversity in the same way enlightened cultures embrace racial, ethnic, class, and religious diversity. The copious anecdotes alone are worth the price of admission to a future world where we transcend millennia of assumptions about 'what boys do' vs. 'what girls do' toward a more psychologically and socially androgynous and balanced future. Readers will find themselves thinking time and again, 'It never occurred to me that our kids might be saying, and wondering, and exploring these things. How would I address that situation when it arises in my classroom?' This book of innumerable stories and wise counsel is also the new definitive authority reference book on terminology and resources on the topic.


Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World (New Critical Viewpoints on Society) by Sharon H Chang Research continues to uncover early childhood as a crucial time when we set the stage for who we will become. In the last decade, we have also seen a sudden massive shift in America’s racial makeup with the majority of the current under-5 age population being children of color. Asian and multiracial are the fastest growing self-identified groups in the United States. More than 2 million people indicated being mixed race Asian on the 2010 Census. Yet, young multiracial Asian children are vastly underrepresented in the literature on racial identity. Why? And what are these children learning about themselves in an era that tries to be ahistorical, believes the race problem has been “solved,” and that mixed race people are proof of it? This book is drawn from extensive research and interviews with sixty-eight parents of multiracial children. It is the first to examine the complex task of supporting our youngest around being “two or more races” and Asian while living amongst “post-racial” ideologies.

Articles on Talking to Young Children
ADL's Table Talk - Tips and tools for engaging in dialogue about current events like representation of diversity in dolls, islamaphobia, gun violence, etc.