Adolescence is a time of self-definition, when young people look to society to help shape their identity . When movies, television shows, or their teachers express racial prejudice, it can be detrimental to the development of adolescent self-esteem.
Their peers may also express internalized racial biases or express racial biases against other groups. However, helping your child develop a healthy sense of identity can help keep his head up, regardless of what is said about his genetics.
HOW RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND BIAS REACH TEENS
If you have recently allowed your child to spend more unsupervised time outside the home or watching television, your child could be exposed to racial prejudice and discrimination. Subtle racial biases are often expressed in characters on popular television shows, and viewers not only pick up on these attitudes but allow them to shape their own perspectives on race.
HOW RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND BIAS AFFECT TEENS
Racial discrimination can be its own source of stress. When teachers are racially biased, it can reduce children’s chances of academic success, and when teens are racially biased, they can become anxious, angry, and depressed.
When teens are preoccupied with negative stereotypes , they can also lose motivation to do well academically. Perceptions of limited future job prospects due to race can lead adolescents to lose interest in academic performance and career aspirations.
POSITIVE STEREOTYPES HURT TOO
Stereotypes about Asians include the perception that they are smart and diligent. Teachers might express this bias implicitly, or even explicitly, believing it to be a compliment. But ignoring diversity among Asians could make it harder for Asian teens to speak up if they have academic difficulties or show interest in activities that go against the stereotype.
SUPPORTING THE HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR CHILD
Helping your child develop a healthy sense of self means helping him detect explicit and implicit biases and counteract the biased images with healthier ones. Point out current instances of racial discrimination and discuss strategies for dealing with prejudice when among friends or in the classroom.
Consider how you speak of your race and others, and include positive images of people of all races in the arts and entertainment you enjoy. Facing racial profiling is a challenge, and your child will need your support to cope with it.
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT, WE ARE ALL THE SAME
Teach your child that no one is younger than anyone because of skin color, beliefs, or culture. Each person is different from another and at the same time we are all equally important. It takes courage to accept others as they are and not feel like superior or inferior beings.
People are people, all the same, no matter what else. We all have feelings, emotions, organs, bones … we are made up of the same thing even though we look different on the outside. Acceptance of the other is acceptance of oneself.
In addition to acceptance, it is important to work with children respect. Respect for people, oneself and others. The respect for the living being, respect for the different, respect for anything you do not understand. Respect helps people to live in harmony, without impositions or intransigence. With respect there would not be so many social problems between people, societies or cultures …