With kids now back in school, while they may have some of the same friends in their classes, they are bound to have some new classmates this year.
These classmates might be a little different than your kids in some way. They may have varying abilities, be from a different cultural or socio-economic background. However, diversity makes for a positive learning environment. Kids learn from each other and grow from discovering the experiences of other children that may be outside of their own. In order to raise open-minded children, here are some tips on teaching kids about diversity.
Lead by Example
Children inevitably imitate their parents, whether we like it or not. It’s important that children see their parents as ones who not only embrace different forms of diversity but also celebrate it. Let them see you embracing different cultures, and creeds and abilities.
One of the best ways to do this is to stand up against inappropriate comments or jokes that are racist or offensive and all together hurtful. This will teach your children that those comments are not to be tolerated, and to stick up for others who may be perceived as different.
Expose them to Experiences Outside of Their Own
It can be difficult for kids to see another person’s point of view, or lifestyle when they have the same experiences all the time. Expose them to experiences outside of their own. Get them to attend cultural events. Suggest they get a pen-pal from another country to see what it’s like to a place different home, and maybe that they’ve never been to.
Sample other different kinds of cuisines, together. Get them to volunteer . There are numerous opportunities to get your kids interacting with people different from themselves. Pick what works best your kids and your schedule.
Provide Books, Media and Imagery that reflect Diversity
Kids absorb a variety of images and messages, not all of them good. Ensure that whatever they are reading or watching reflects differently-abled peoples, diverse racial and cultural backgrounds and different types of families.
What kids often find is though people may look different ultimately we all have similar hopes, dreams and values. Looks shouldn’t foster prejudices. The character of someone is what’s most important!
How do you encourage diversity in your household? Sound off in the comments! Learn more about diversity in Anne: The Animated Series Complete Box Set.Watch this kids talk where they talk about differences in people.