I used to shy away from talking about the hard stuff with young children. In avoiding head-on discussions about racism, sexism, unfair labor practices, and more, I thought I was protecting innocent young minds.
Then I read the research about children absorbing and expressing bias even when they grow up in diverse communities with adults who demonstrate no overt prejudices. I learned that in order to counter bias, I need to talk explicitly with young children about race (see Make Race Explicit).
In the same way, I no longer avoid conversations about economic inequities in the world, including child labor. Preschoolers possess an innate sense of fairness, becoming indignant when they experience injustice. Now, I use that bent towards justice to introduce topics of worker’s rights, including the proliferation of child labor around the world.Read More