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Talking About Race: SLATE

Talking about Race: SLATE

Here is a pretty good, short essay about why white parents should talk about race with their kids, by Melinda Wenner Moyer.

So if children as young as 3 develop racial prejudices when left to their own (cognitively biased) devices, it may help for parents to intervene and, you know, actually talk to their kids about race. “Don’t you want to be the one to suggest to them—early on, before they do form those preconceptions—something positive [about other races] rather than let them pick up something negative?” asks Kristina Olson, a University of Washington psychologist who studies social cognitive development and racial bias. “White parents seem very, very resistant to talking about race—even really liberal ones—and they have this attitude of ‘I wouldn’t want to talk about it because it would make it real to my kids.’ But inevitably, it’s their kids that show these really strong race biases.” In fact, Olson says, when parents don’t talk about race, kids may infer from this silence that race is especially important, yet highly taboo—basically, the last thing you want them to think.

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What Drives Success?

What Drives Success?

-New York Times

-New York Times

Here is an interesting article from The New York Times by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld about race, immigration and success.  They identify three embedded-not innate traits which can lead to your child’s success.

“The fact that groups rise and fall this way punctures the whole idea of ‘model minorities’ or that groups succeed because of innate, biological differences.  Rather there are cultural forces at work.

It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success.  The first is a superiority complex– a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality.  The second appears to be the opposite– insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not enough.  The third is impulse control.”

Success happens, not by instilling only one of the three traits, all three must be present– and in America, specifically well-off white families, falsely think they can drive their child to success by constant confirmation, such as, “You’re amazing.  Mommy and Daddy never want you to worry about a thing” (NYT.)  Rather, success is based not solely, but partially, on some possible threat of failure, or of failing to live up to some standard prerequisite.