Avalaura Gaither Beharry, a licensed graduate social worker in Maryland, has a few words of advice for parents. “Parents can teach their children to love the skin they’re in by first understanding that colorism does still exist,” she says. “Parents have to make a conscious effort to be a positive role model for their children. Children pay attention to what you do more than what you say. As their parent, if you have a healthy self-esteem [and] healthy body image and appreciate your race and skin color, so will your child.”
Beharry also has this advice for parents: “Build your child up so no one else can tear them down.”
Finally, as parents we have to teach our children not only to love the skin they’re in but also to appreciate the diverse shades we all come in.
Yesha Callahan is a full-time writer and single mother living in Columbia, Md. She has written for BlogHer, Jezebel and The Grio and has been seen on HuffPost Live and TV One’s NewsOne Now With Roland Martin. She is currently the managing editor of Clutch magazine and is a former comedy and politics writer for BET’s Don’t Sleep! Hosted by T.J. Holmes.