A World Without Racism is Diverse
Raising a Diverse Generation
Diversity can be a real learning curve when attempting to educate children. Although each scenario is unique if one follows these general guidelines they are sure to find success. At the core, these tips are achievable ways that should help people to acknowledge and embrace their unique qualities instead of ignoring them.
Has your child ever approached you with questions about why people look or act differently from what they are accustomed to or celebrate different holidays from your family? Most likely there have been times like these, and conveniently, they lead to great opportunities for us as a parent or guardian to teach them that it is okay to notice the unique qualities of people and discuss them freely. It is important to emphasize that no quality or attribute makes anyone better than the others and that we are all beautiful just the way we are. By setting the tone as one of openness and respect, we are able to build the foundation of how our children will approach diversity for the rest of their lives.
Lead by example.
It is no surprise that children emulate the behavior that is represented in their lives. Therefore, in order for us to truly teach our children anything, we must first set an example through our own actions. Oftentimes, many of us say that we embrace and support diversity, but our actions may say differently. For example, do you laugh at racial or sexist jokes? Do you watch tv shows or movies that encourage racial and/or gender stereotypes? Do you speak up when you see prejudiced behavior? Although these examples don’t necessarily involve you saying or acting specifically in an open, discriminatory manner, sitting by or simply responding in any way other than speaking out against this behavior is enabling it. When our children see those whom they look up to acting in such a way, they themselves will replicate it. However, by making conscious changes, today’s youth will soon follow in our footsteps.
Don’t Sugar Coat Diversity.
According to an article in The Children’s Trust, experts have said one way in which parents fall short in the conversation surrounding diversity is when they assume their children are unaware of skin color. However, quite the opposite is true. Children see the difference in race, however, it is society that teaches them it is a negative difference. We must make this shift from believing they are oblivious, to acknowledging they are not, and simply working on educating them that color is not a defining characteristic nor a negative one. Especially keeping in mind that in the United States our population is becoming more and more diverse, we should teach our children that it is inevitable for us to be different from one another, and it is something to embrace, instead of turning a blind eye to.
Educate About Other Cultures.
Teaching children about various cultures and backgrounds doesn’t have to be a dull experience. This can include watching foreign films or shows, trying new foods, or visiting different places. By getting the whole family involved in the process of teaching today’s youth about diversity, it can become a fun learning experience that everyone can enjoy!
Once you take the first step in educating your child(ren) about diversity, it becomes a more natural and comfortable process. The most important part is simply that you start somewhere. When our children are more open and aware of diversity, our world will inevitably become a more welcoming and accepting place for everyone.