Archive for the ‘Childrens Books Blog’ Category

Start talking to your kids about differences. Aside from just observing skin color, even a preschooler can see that some people are big and some others are skinny. That some celebrate Christmas and others celebrate Hanukkah, and that certain kids are smarter than others. And if your local gas station attendant has a thick accent, they will notice that too. Are you talking about these differences with them? Probably not. Parents of white children very seldom discuss race with them. Black parents, though, are far more likely to bring it up. People of color have to prepare their children for uncomfortable moments.

With a child who is 3 or 4, you can explain that people come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. You could even try holding up a green apple and a red apple. Say to them they look different from the outside, but they are both apples on the inside, just like people. Seek out opportunities to demonstrate your respect and appreciation for these contrasts. Your might say something like, “Look at that girl. Aren’t her ponytails pretty?” or “Did you hear that boy speak Spanish to his grandma and then English to his friend? I wish I could speak more than one language.”

If your child asks something that makes you squirm, do your best to respond matter of factly. We tend to try and avoid these questions. But that does not keep our kids from noticing. By explaining to them will teach them to have respect for others. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Different

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Children have a tendency to assign traits based on race accelerates in grade school. So if all the teachers at your child’s school are white while only people of color work in the lunchroom and handle security, the inequity will not be lost on your child. By age 7, most African-American kids believe whites are more likely to hold high status jobs. If you do not change your kids outlook when they are young, they will come to their own incorrect conclusions.

A couple from North Carolina, who has 2 biological white children and 2 adopted black children said it only took her then 4-year-old, who is from the Congo, only 3 months to learn enough English to ask, “Why are you yellow and I am purple?” “I told her that she is special and beautiful because of her skin.” A few months later she had told her mom that a classmate had taunted her by saying, “You are brown like poo-poo.” But her response to the kid made it clear that the message was getting through. “No, God made me pretty. Me brown like chocolate.” Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Bonding

Recognize the fact that your child is not color blind. Experts think that one big mistake that parents make (especially white American parents) is assuming that their children are unaware of race. We always hear, Oh, my child does not even see skin color, but the truth is that kids absolutely do notice.

As your children grow, look for cues about what different appearances mean and which ones matter. They will quickly realize that some things, whether someone wears a hat, for instance, are irrelevant while others, such as sex are significant because we talk about them constantly (“Boys line up on the left, girls on the right”). What about race? Obviously, we do not say, “Good morning, black and white children,” or Asians go get your backpacks.” But even if you never say a word about ethnicity, racial distinctions are plainly visible to kids. Many communities are highly segregated, which children notice. You will be driving through town and your preschooler is thinking, Oh, here is where the Chinese people live.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Infants as young as 3 months begin to instinctively categorize people based on their sex, skin color, and the language they speak. Between 5 and 10 months babies begin to learn about race based on experience. Furthermore, 3-5 year-olds not only categorize people by race but express bias based on it. Overcoming these types of inherent prejudice will take a proactive effort on your part, and it needs to start early, before your child’s opinions are fully formed.

Tolerance is an absolute necessity in our increasingly global and multicultural society. So-called racial and ethnic minorities now make up the mafority of children born in the U.S. By the year 2043, nearly half of the population will be people of color, according to recent Census projections. Our nation is becoming more diverse in other ways too. Islam and Mormonism are among America’s fastest growing religions. Same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states plus the District of Columbia. More than 35 million people now speak Spanish as their primary language at home. And our school system is increasingly placing children with disabilities in regular rather than specialized classrooms.

Today’s kids are going to have to interact with people from many backgrounds and cultures, as well as with those who do not look or act like they do. Celebrating diversity, not merely tolerating it, is going to be the key to their success. In our upcoming posts we will give you some steps you can take to teach your children how to be open-minded towards others.

Check out part one of this series of raising a respectful child. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Treating people of all races and backgrounds honorably is not just politically correct, it is the right thing to do, the respectful thing.

When my 4-year-old son, David, started flipping out about going to preschool, I thought it was typical first day jitters. Then he told me the reason: I do not want a teacher with brown skin. Our family who is white and live in a diverse neighborhood in Northwest Indiana. I must admit I was a bit horrified and confused. He had been around people of many races before. Our neighbor who had babysat for David before when he was a toddler is African American. But his new teacher whom he had met before at the school orientation was from Africa, so I think it had more to do with her accent. Concerned I turned to a psychologist who was also a family friend. I was reassured that little David was not being a racist.

It is natural for young kids to notice differences in a person’s appearance and manner of speaking, and to express curiosity or even fear about them. Many of us can probably share a comparably mortifying moment, whether it was our kid’s insensitive comment about someone in a wheelchair or an objectionable question about why a classmate of Asian descent has “squinty” eyes. In our upcoming posts we will share some steps with you that you can take to teach your child how to be open minded. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Of course, your child is running around half-naked these days, but do not forget to work on the dressing skills that will be critical in the classroom. A 3-year-old should be able to pull up their own pants after going to the bathroom, Velcro their shoes, place an object into their backpack, and put on their own coat. Although, it is OK di they need help with buttoning and zipping. Not only do kids feel pride when they master these tasks, but it encourages their independence and helps them learn to be organized. Be mindful not to ask your child to accomplish too much at once or you may risk overwhelming them. It is as simple as breaking everything down into one manageable task at a time. Check out our previous post on creating transitions. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Self Help

 

 

A preschooler’s day is all about moving from one activity to another one. Sorting and putting away toys at the end of play time helps give a clear ending to the activity and a sign that something new is about to happen. Just as they do at preschool, set up bins at home and label them with pictures of blocks, Legos, and dolls. Work with your child to correctly clean up and put away each toy in its correct spot. Remember to keep them working those little fingers. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Creating Transitions