Parents

Why Kristen Bell Thinks White Parents Should Talk To Their Kids About Race

“Kids will notice differences.”
03/29/2017 01:26pm ET
Danny Moloshok / Reuters
Kristen Bell has two daughters under 5.

Kristen Bell wants her daughters to celebrate peoples’ differences.

The actress is mom to 4-year-old Lincoln and 2-year-old Delta. During a recent Facebook Live interview with Parents magazine, she shared her thoughts on raising her children to be “global citizens.” Hear what she had to say starting at the 9:30 mark in the video below.

Bell referenced a chapter in the book Nurture Shock, titled, “Why White Parents Don’t Talk About Race.”

“You think, ‘Oh they’re going to see that I have a black friend, and they’ll know it’s OK.’ That’s not the way humans work,” she explained, adding that people tend to have a natural instinct to recognize someone different as “the other.”

“Kids will notice differences,” Bell explained. “So we talk to them about it ― like, our best friend is Indian, and we’re always like, ‘Look at this, isn’t this cool? The difference between Monica’s skin and Mommy’s skin? And they’re different colors. Did you know everybody is a different color?’”

She added, “You talk to them about it, so the idea of ‘the other’ is never left alone in their brain.” Bell believes that if parents don’t acknowledge other cultures or the differences between individual human beings, kids may draw their own conclusions based on fear.

“Differences are also important, cultures are important, and it’s important to acknowledge those because if you ignore them, your kids are seeing them, [and] they’re coming to their own conclusions. The topic needs to be open,” she said.

Watch the full interview to learn more about the actress’ approach to parenting, including her thoughts on sleep and work-life balance.

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