Talking to Children About Racism and Inequality

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Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Following the stress of our pandemic quarantine, talking to children about the nationwide protests and racism after the death of George Floyd, feels so overwhelming. Riots, protests, and racism are hard topics to tackle but important for so many reasons. Children and teens will have questions and many emotions that need to be sorted out and parents can help them wade through this.

General Tips When Talking to Kids about Racism and Inequality

Ask Children What They Know

Start with asking kids what they know about whatever sensitive issue you are discussing. Children know more than we think or they may have bits and pieces of misinformation that needs to be sorted out. Don’t grill children but instead ask open-ended questions that get the conversation going.

Use Developmental Language

Meet kids where they are at. Talk to them using words they know and understand. When they ask you about big topics, break it down into language and concepts they can understand. If your child is really young, using toys, books, or picture stories can be a great way to bring big concepts or tough topics into a relatable form that you both can feel good about.

Lead by Example

You have heard me say it many times, children learn by watching us!  So be that role model in all areas, including role modeling equality. When our kids see us treating others with respect and equality… guess what? …that is what they learn.  Be mindful of jokes, and ignorant comments about others. Display respectful interactions and friendships with individuals of different races and cultures and encourage your children to do the same. When we respect other’s race, gender, sexuality,  religion, politics, and who they love, you just can’t go wrong in life.

Teach about Racism

Children need to know about the struggles of so many different races and cultures across history and now. When children understand the struggles of others, it not only teaches them to be more respectful to others but to have greater empathy for others.

Don’t Ignore Disrespectful Comments of Others

We often feel that if it doesn’t come out of our mouths but someone’s else's, we are excused from speaking up. Ignoring racism and inequality is just as bad as you saying something ignorant. Role model being respectful and politely telling others that you don’t agree with their viewpoints or their statements make you feel uncomfortable. Not only does it teach children that they should speak up when people are disrespectful, but they become self-confident in their own beliefs.

Let Your Kids Know How You Feel About Racism and Inequality

Using emotional language with your children is so important for their emotional and social development. When we talk to our children about our feelings, they learn to better connect their own feelings. In this world with so many shoving down their feelings with medications, substances, and other unhealthy behaviors, when we help our children to understand that all feelings are important, even uncomfortable ones, they become much better able to manage stress and frustration and ultimately are happier human beings.

Keep the Conversation Going

Tough subjects aren’t drive-by conversations…they are multiple conversations. We all need to process but kids need time to connect the dots, so multiple conversations about racism and inequality are important. When you start that conversation, they know they can come back to you any time on this tough but important subject.


Resources for white parents to raise anti-racist children:

General Resources:



Education Tools

Organizations to follow on social media:

***Thank you to Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein – May 2020 for these resources!

United We Dream: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Evidence-Based Therapies for Mental Health

Call our center today to discuss how we can help you or your child or teen with our clinically effective and natural therapies, such as neurofeedback or biofeedback, mindfulness and meditation addressing anxiety, Executive Functioning, ADHD, OCD, depression, concussion, and numerous other conditions.  We also offer counseling, executive functioning coaching, social skills support, and behavioral support for children and families, and parent coaching sessions with our staff psychotherapists. 

To set up an appointment for a QEEG Brain Mapping consultation with Dr. Roseann, or to virtually meet with our psychotherapists and parenting specialists, call 203.544.2781 or email: [email protected].

Live out of state? We work with children, individuals, and families through our intensive therapies program “The 360° Reboot® Program”. Or take our course: It’s Gonna Be OK™: Proven Ways to Reverse Your Child’s Mental Health Issues With Natural Therapies 

If you are a business or organization that needs proactive guidance to support employee mental health, contact us at 203.544.2781 or email: [email protected].

Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”

Are you looking for SOLUTIONS for your struggling child or teen? 

Dr. Roseann and her team are all about solutions, so you are in the right place! 

There are 3 ways to work with Dr. Roseann: 


You can get her books for parents and professionals, including: It’s Gonna Be OK™: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health, Teletherapy Toolkit™ and Brain Under Attack: A Resource For Parents and Caregivers of Children With PANS, PANDAS, and Autoimmune Encephalopathy.

If you are a business or organization that needs proactive guidance to support employee mental health or an organization looking for a brand representative, check out Dr. Roseann’s media page and professional speaking page to see how we can work together. 


Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of  media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, The Washington Post,, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.” 

Dr. Roseann - Brain Behavior Reset Parent Toolkit

She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach.  She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2023

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

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