I love that we live in a world were there are such differences in people. It is because of this that teaching a child about diversity is important to help them understand and embrace that which is different. Even though children come into the world with an open mind, being around family, friend and neighbors starts coloring that initially undisturbed space.
It goes without saying that you must practice respect and tolerance for diversity if you want your child to do so.
Differences in race, socioeconomic status, religion, sexuality or sexual orientation, family structure, gender, age, differences in physical and mental ability or cultural background must be tolerated. Everyone deserves respect.
You can promote diversity by encouraging your child to take part in activities and events that promote diversity, such as afterschool programs, sports, camps, concerts or other places of worship.
Listen openly to children as they discuss or point out differences between people. Do not ignore questions and thoughts about differences; engage them in conversation to open up the floodgates of communication.
As you subtly challenge your child, try getting out of your own comfort zone. Interact with people who are different than your family. Ask uncomfortable questions, explore that which seems way out there with an open mind. You may not be able to understand everything and probably have trouble relating sometimes but if you show respect and acceptance despite your discomfort, your child will benefit and live a life respecting diversity.
For more on diversity, check out PBS Diversity in the Classroom (http://www.pbs.org/kcts/preciouschildren/diversity/index.html).
Afterschool activities and free resources from SmartTutor.
Article By Nuria Almeida
Photo By HiroshimaGab