We live in an increasingly diverse world, more so than ever before. As we go about our daily lives we will encounter people of different races, cultures, religions, and abilities. Our Children will also experience these encounters. It is only natural that young children wonder about those who are different from them in some way, so it’s important to Teach them about the value of diversity.
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We all want to raise tolerant, accepting, and empathetic kids. Showing them that these differences in beliefs, cultures, and religions not only serve to enrich our lives but also bring new ideas and energies to our world.
As a parent, you can help prepare your child to be accepting and tolerant of others by celebrating differences and creating opportunities for your child to interact with people from various backgrounds.
Here are ten ways to Teach Children about diversity.
1. Take a look at your own attitude
If you show that you are uncomfortable around people of different backgrounds, your child will pick up on it. Consider the way you talk about people. Do you describe someone by their race rather than other characteristics first? What messages are you giving your kids through your everyday words and actions?
2. Teach children about their own culture and how they differ from others
Researching the family tree shows how one's family can come from a range of backgrounds and also include an array of nationalities and cultures.
3. Read books
You can find so many children’s books that teach about diversity. There are books about the various cultures and races, different religions, and abilities. Finding books that your children enjoy reading over and over is a great way to retain the messages they give. Some to try are Teach your dragon about diversity, Same kind of different as me, It's okay to be different, and My friends and me.
4. Encourage questions
Encouraging children to ask questions will give them even more awareness and a deeper insight.
5. Try out a new recipe from another culture
Food is a really fun and unique way to learn about different cultures because there is so many varieties of delicious food to try out.
6. Learn a foreign language
You can either learn a whole new language yourself as a parent and the teach your children a few basic words or you can learn together. There are so many resources available such as books, television shows, and YouTube.
7. Display a world map in your home
Having a world map available can come in handy when a news event occurs and sparks interest in your children. They can go right to the map and physically view that area of the world. This gives them the opportunity to ask questions, engage in discussion, and creates teachable moments for the entire family.
8. Visit museums
Even small history museums have a lot of fascinating information about different cultures, both local and global. Take your time going through the exhibits and prompt your child to ask questions. Some museums even hold children’s activities or classes.
9. Teach children to respect others
Whether your child's friend comes from a biracial family different physical capabilities, lives with their grandparents, , or has different , your child will always encounter classmates who are different from him.
10. Be a role model
It is so crucial that you model cultural sensitivity and stand up against insensitivity, bias, and racism. You are the most powerful influence in your child’s life. It’s also a good idea to focus on the strengths of those who are different from others. Talk about the person’s positive characteristics and what the person is able to do (as opposed to what they can’t do), and how differences make the world a more vibrant place.
How do you teach your child about diversity?