As children enter school, they start to notice there are differences in everyone. It’s a great time to teach them about diversity. The role models of their life should show them how to open their arms to diversity and learn it’s a positive thing. We have a few ways to teach children to celebrate the differences in society.
Share Your Special Qualities
Teach children to share the things that make them unique. Tell them it can be scary to feel different, but it makes you special. Once kids understand it’s okay to be different, they want to befriend others that have unique qualities, too. They can support each other by encouraging their qualities. Kids get to learn about others and see that everyone is different in special ways.
It’s Okay To Ask Questions
Many times kids are scared to ask questions about other people. It’s a wonderful way to learn about differences. Ask them to be open about things they wonder about. If they want to know why someone wears a headdress or glasses, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask politely. They should feel free to ask you about other people’s skin color or the way they dress.
You can then answer in a positive, open way. This helps them feel like everyone is the same on the inside, just different on the outside, and this is a great thing.
Racism and bias start when people push their beliefs on others. It’s important to have open conversations about different stereotypes so you can touch on a child’s compassion and understanding of others. They learn quickly that these biases in society are wrong.
Talk about the differences in different cultures in a positive light. You can even point out that sometimes people are mistreated for these differences. Teach them it is unfair to treat someone differently because of their beliefs, gender, or skin color.
Set A Positive Example
Children look to adults for many things. They wonder how the adult will respond to different types of people. Show them a positive example. Be mindful they’re always watching how you behave. Respond to diversity in a supportive way. Fight for the rights of everyone.