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Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice

By the Anti-Defamation League, Caryl Stern-LaRosa, and Ellen Hofheimer Bettmann.Scholastic; $9.95.



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Confronting bias and appreciating differences are the goals of this book. The approach is hands-on, developmental, and extremely useful. Filled with scenarios and questions, Hate Hurts is designed as a book and as an interactive online course that can be accessed through the Anti-Defamation League’s Web site (www.adl.org). Discussions appropriate for adults and children give parents and educators examples of how to help children cope with racism, hate, or teasing.

Here’s advice on talking with your child about racial taunting:

Typical diversity comments from ’tweens usually impart a piece of information and then seek affirmation, such as: “The guys at school all make fun of the Mexican kids. That’s not right, is it? But what can I do?” Direct answers to these questions will likely be rejected like last year’s clothing styles. Start by making sure you understand what happened and how your child is feeling about it: “Wow, were they teasing all of the Mexican kids or one in particular? What started it? I bet the Mexican kids were pretty upset. It sounds like you are, too, huh?” The next step is to help your child consider if she wants to take action and, if so, what action that might be. “Did you feel it was wrong to make fun of the Mexican kids? If you could do something, what would you want to have happen?”

—Beth Hall, co-director of Pact, an Adoption Alliance.


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