Having the talk when our little ones just learned to walk: Racial socialization with young children in contemporary times

Chardée A. Galán, Ann C. Yu, John P. O'Connor, Deborah T. Akinbola, Riana Elyse Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The world as we knew it changed abruptly in 2020. Whether due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), or subsequent events, including the murder of George Floyd, the election of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris, or the US Capital Insurrection, racialized events became a focal point for families who found themselves gathering together much more frequently due to government encouraged stay-at-home mandates. Caregivers across races and developmental ages began asking themselves the same question: how can I talk to my child about race? Here, we seek to provide psychoeducation around racial socialization, or the ways we have ‘The Talk’ to our children about race and racism, along with practical strategies to be competent in these conversations with young children in particular. Three steps for parents, including unpacking racial beliefs, practicing with supportive others, and utilizing media to enhance The Talk with children are advanced. We conclude by considering the future as a guidepost by which we can measure our hopes and successes of raising children in a racism-free society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2276
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this