ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – For many people, racism is a set of beliefs you can’t even imagine, and even find disgusting, but for others it’s a necessary way to live. Regardless, Rebecca Jones, a behavioral health social worker at SSM Health Depaul Hospital says it’s not a mental illness.
“I think it’s more of views. It depends on the family element, because that’s where a lot of thing start, and the values of the family and whats really important to the family’s values stream and their ethics on that,” she says.
She says it’s important to start talking about race when children are young, saying they already know there is a difference.
“You can actually use that as teaching moments. For a lot of that, you can use an egg. So eggs come in all different shapes and sizes, colors. some are speckled and some are not but they all have the same inside. So if we start at a young age teaching that message, then when things in the media that they see or are exposed to like this come up, they already have a generalized idea about it,” she says.
Jones says families have to decide what their values are and talk to their children about them. Regarding the violence, she says you can always bring the topic up yourself.
“Kind of see what they’re thinking about it, and what other around them are saying about it and just have an open dialogue with them and help them process through what they’re seeing and what they’re thinking at the same time,” she says.
She adds parents and guardians can decide that younger children should not watch certain news events and she knows some families may not want to or may be afraid to bring these issues up.
“Also talk about how sometimes, everyone has their different opinions, they all go about their different actions, and just instill in them what your family values are,” she says.
Jones says it will be easier for your children to talk to you about what they are hearing or seeing on social media if you have already had open conversations with them.