According to child psychologists, most children develop self-esteem by age five. As a parent or caregiver, I’m sure you know how critical it is to help your children create a positive self-image.
However, it takes even more effort and a village to help Black and brown children build self-esteem when they constantly see themselves through negative images portrayed in the media. Even during the early stages of life, many children of color will never see toys, games, characters, and books that represent or resemble them in any way.
As a teacher, Christina Spencer was frustrated with this lack of racial representation and decided to create her own brand of games and toys for Black and brown children. She founded ABSee Me – an educational toy company that produces games and learning resources featuring Black and brown characters.
In celebration of Black History Month, Christina is sharing four tips parents can do to help their kids build positive self-esteem in a world of racial inequality:
- Acknowledge that racism is an issue – Talk about racism at home and have age-appropriate conversations about how they should respond to racial discrimination when it happens.
- Validate their feelings about it – Ask how they feel about racism, help them express those emotions positively, and normalize their feelings or experiences by finding and sharing similar stories about racial injustice.
- Identify qualities you love about them – It’s easy to recognize and praise children for academic achievement or special talents, but we often overlook those important qualities that make us better humans. Commend them for showing positive traits like courage, compassion, kindness, honesty, etc.
- Reinforce positive images at home – Expose them to positive images of Black and brown people through books, movies, music, toys, and games like ABSee Me’s Legendary Leaders – Black History Flashcards.