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KPBS Midday Edition

How White Parents Can Talk To Their Children About Racism

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KPBS Staff
The Midday Edition logo is shown in this undated graphic.
Feion Villodas, professor of clinical psychology at San Diego State University, says parents should start having conversations about racism with their kids as early as pre-school.

As protests against racial injustice and police brutality continue in San Diego and across the nation, parents are asking about ways they can address the subject with their kids.

While most black children are familiar with "the talk" — when parents give them advice about how to interact with police, what about white children? What responsibility do white parents have when it comes to talking with their children about race and racism?

RELATED: How Racism Impacts Children’s Health

"The biggest thing is exposure. I would ask the parents out there has your child ever had a play date with a black child? Has a black person ever been in your house? Does your child have any black dolls?" said Feion Villodas, professor of clinical psychology at San Diego State University.

"If we aren't exposing them are positive images of black people and the only thing they see are black stereotypes, then of course, the first time they interact with someone who is black they're going to have negative thoughts about them instead of positive ones."

Villodas joined Midday Edition on Monday to give parents advice on how to teach their kids about racism.