Today's guest blogger is Roger Harrison, PhD, a pediatric psychologist with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. He see patients in both the hospital and Nemours primary care settings. Among his special interests are conduct issues, ADHD and learning problems.
The face of America is rapidly changing. A child born in America today will emerge into adulthood in a very different America than a child born in the 1960s or earlier. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2043, America will become a minority-majority nation. Ethnic minorities, who comprise 37% of the population currently, are projected to comprise 57% of the population by 2060. Minority children under age 10 now make up the majority of the under-10 population in 12 states, including New York, California, Texas, Florida (and yes, New Jersey!) as well as the District of Columbia.
Despite these changes, discussions of race continue to be challenging, sensitive, and uncomfortable for many Americans, particularly outside of our very intimate circles. Whether due to personal discomfort with the topic, fear of offending, fear of sounding 'racist' or insensitive, or a host of other reasons, conversations about race are often dreaded or avoided, even among parents and children.
Recent events such as the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri and the Eric Garner killing in Staten Island, New York have generated tremendous media coverage and spawned many conversations in the media, around the water cooler, and likely around the dinner table or couch. If your child has overheard such conversations and is interested in a conversation about race, consider the following tips to have a productive conversation:
Next week, I'll have a blog that will look at more in-depth questions that your children may have about the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson and the Eric Garner killing in Staten Island.