The last several months have been upsetting and painful for all of us. Families have been facing the unprecedented outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected people of color, followed by the murder of George Floyd. This murder highlighted the deep pain and anguish experienced by people of color for generations due to the systemic racism embedded in our culture. Our young children have been exposed to not only the images on television but also the intense, emotional reactions of their parents to centuries of racial inequality and injustice. As parents, amidst all of this turmoil, we need to find ways to get support, whether that be from family or friends, or by participating in community protests. Taking care of ourselves gives us the energy to be available to respond to our young children’s worries and concerns.
Explaining racial inequality and the importance of appreciating diversity to your children can be challenging. Drawing from your own experience and the expertise of child care teachers and staff members can help you find the right words. We have identified some links and books that may offer you support and guidance in talking with your children about this important topic.
“It’s OK to be Different: A Children’s Picture Book About Diversity and Kindness,” by Sharon Purtill
“Be Who You Are,” by Todd Parr
“Get Up, Stand Up,” by Bob Marley
“Strictly No Elephants,” by Lisa Mantchev and Taeeun Yoo
“I Promise,” by LeBron James
“We’re Different, We’re the Same” (Sesame Street), by Bobbi Kates and Joe Mathieu
“Hair Love,” by Matthew A. Cherry
“Skin Like Mine,” by LaTashia M. Perry
Executive Director, PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs
Board Chair, PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs
PACT: Helping Children With Special Needs
The first five years of a child’s life are the most critical in terms of development. It is during this time that 90 percent of a child’s brain growth occurs, accompanied by the cognitive development that often determines the course of the child’s future.
Yet, for many children, those critical years are spent just trying to survive.
PACT offers these young children and their families hope when they have nowhere else to turn. Ensuring that all children get the proper start in life is the goal that has been driving PACT since 1981.
PACT is the only specialized child care center in Central Maryland for young children with complex medical needs or infants and toddlers who are experiencing homelessness.