How to deal with a child how has adopted racist values?

I babysit a little girl who is white and often makes comments about black people being ugly stupid and inferior as if it was second nature and "just how things are". How do i help teach her that what she is saying is mean rude and untrue. She's a nice girl "usually" but she thinks that she should have privilege over other black and hispanic children. How do you change some thing like that which has been accepted by a child? I don't think that she understands the negative impact of her attitudes.

Update:

Wow, a lot of smug racist elitist bitter people on this board. I figured religious persons would know how to respond wisely. Or maybe it's the Athiest responding. Also. "babysiter" is a term I'm using to only offer as much info as is needed to respond to the situation.

Update 2:

White people aren't ENTITLED to anything extra that any other race, i'm trying to teach this healthy value and not allow her to become some smug mean caloused loser racist.

Update 3:

I have spoken to the parents. The mother is receptive yet the father is over 60 and set in his veiws though he is not aggressively racist he jokes about other races inappropriatly.

13 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    First, the origin of these terms (Black-White) needs to be understood by the caregiver.

    These terms became en vogue during a time in American History that no longer exists: Chattel Slavery.

    Chattel Slavery was also a way to ensure the idea of White Privilege.'

    The inordinate amount of energy focused on skin-color is somewhat pathological.

    As long as people consider themselves as Blacks or Whites, they will continue to perceive others as objects instead of Human beings.

    This linguistic convenience does more harm than good in the end....as we see today.

    This is the kind of 'beneficial knowledge' we need to encourage for the deconstruction of such lies.

    As a remedy for the child, allow her to be exposed to children of other Nationalities that are a few years older than she is.

    I'm sure the hierarchical system of peer pressure will challenge her more effectively than the usual approach taken by adults.

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  • 9 years ago

    Considering that this little girl has a mother who is receptive to your trying to teach her child right from wrong, is a plus. I do believe that there are often quicker ways of getting a desired response. Have you given any thought to picking up a few age appropriate videos that depict racial inequality? Sometimes, as I believe we all can, is to get very "caught up" in a real or imagined movie. I think that this would be a great form of positive reinforcement on a subliminal level. You can always make a few comments expressing your sadness over the hurt that these poor people must feel at being born another color, and getting abused because of it. You also might want to draw a comparision to children born with disabilities. I think that you could open up a discussion very easily with her. I would get videos galore-animated or whatever you think that might do the trick. I think that you're a very kind person for caring so much. There should be more people like you in this world.

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  • 9 years ago

    I think I would start out trying to reason with her. Try to explain, calmly, that blacks and Hispanics are people too, and all people have certain rights. She may have never actually heard that side of the story! Maybe show her an example, a black or Hispanic person who works hard, who does something interesting or important or heroic, and then say 'Don't you think he/she deserves xxxx just as much as anyone else who does that?' Tell her she hurts your feelings when she says stuff like that, and does she really mean to do that? Tell her when she's being rude. Kids often just don't know when they're being rude! And when she's rude to -you-, well -you- are the grown-up here and you won't put up with it.

    If she likes you, if she respects you at all, you might have an effect on her. Through both talk and your own personal example of how you treat people, if she sees that. You'd be surprised how much influence a babysitter can have on a little kid.

    If that doesn't work, i think I'd have a talk with her parents. They might have taught her that without really meaning to. If -they're- racist, then I wouldn't work for them..

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  • 9 years ago

    Racist attitudes in a child don't come out of nowhere. Very likely, she is being raised in a home where the parents are racist, and have taught her to hate as well. It may be hard to change a child's attitude if this is the case, unless you also change the parents. I'm not sure what you could do in that case.

    You could try telling a story, or an "imagine if" scenario. For instance, "suppose you were attending a new school, but nobody wanted to play with you just because of the colour of your skin. How would you feel?" Hopefully, the child will then be able to see how her prejudices hurt others.

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  • 9 years ago

    Actually I think it's the religious people that promote bigotry and hatred such as what this girl seems to be portraying.

    All you can do is tell her the way you see things and hope that she'll listen. Hopefully she'll go to college and really learn about life there. Sometimes it takes time to grow out of childish behavior, and it takes a wake-up call to get rid of bigotry.

    Maybe she will understand the concept that we are ALL human beings, and underneath skin color, we are the same, even if we come from different places, experiences, and upbringings. It's important to learn from one another rather than be afraid of each other.

    Source(s): educated agnostic-atheist
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  • 9 years ago

    Try giving her examples of people of other races who are or were great people, and explain to her why they were or are great people. Personal examples as well as famous examples. Also, you could try telling her stories about what it was like back in the days of slavery in the US, and then later segregation, and then ask her if she would like people to treat her that way just because she has crooked teeth or freckles, or any other feature you could point out about her. Make it hit home, make it personal. Maybe that will help. That's what helped me growing up raised by a very racist mother.

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  • 9 years ago

    More than likely she is getting these thoughts from her parents or guardians. I would address them and see what they say about the situation. If they are not willing to participate and you are still interested in disproving her views; introduce her to a couple of your friends who are not white. Show her they are just as responsible and intelligent as white people. Sometimes even more than white people. To me though, it seems likes it boils down to the parents and family. Young children do not just come up with these thoughts, they are influenced. Without the support of her family you will have a hard time convincing her.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Tell her God does not care what color a person is, because He made everybody. He loves everyone and we are to follow His example. It's people that think they should care what color other people are that are wrong and God doesn't like that. It hurts people's feelings when you call them names or say things to them that are not true. You might consider asking her if she would like someone to say certain things about her, and how would she feel then? Kids don't necessarily realize other people have feelings as well if they are not taught they do.

    She's getting this from somewhere, most likely from her parents. When you tell her this and she tells her parents or whoever is filling her head with this stuff you may no longer be her babysitter. I never advocate shutting up when it comes to speaking the truth in love, but you should decide if you must consider this reality. If you need the $$ you will have to make that choice.

    Kids learn bigotry by what they see around them. If they see and hear people who wear bells and braids are going to hell, they believe it. Why would mom or dad tell a lie when they tell me its wrong to lie, they think.

    Matthew 18:6

    But whoever shall offend one of these little [ones] who believes in Me, it would be better for him that an ***'s millstone were hung around his neck, and he be sunk in the depth of the sea.

    ----Jesus' perspective on innocence.

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  • Jeff S
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    We are all the same race (human race)

    God created all of us in His image, the only difference between people groups is cultural and skin pigmentation. It is the cultural issues that are really at the base of prejudice.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Teach her the song "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the children of the world!"

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