Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Keep your child exposed to diversity regularly.

Many studies have found that the more contact people of all ages have with those from backgrounds that are different from their own, the less likely they are to be biased. Some parents have choosen preschools for their children where half of the children had physical disabilities. There is a belief that in doing this and exposing them to special needs kids would make them more accepting of all kinds of people. Some have carried this onto choosing kindergarten for their children. While others have mixed it up a bit choosing a Spanish immersion school or choosing schools where the white to black mix is 50 to 50. By doing this as they get older and move into middle school and high school they will feel comfortable around all kinds of different people and show respect to them equally. 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.

ChildrensBooks2U

Diversity

Advertisements

Lead Your Child By Example

For your child to become truly open minded toward all kinds of people, you need to be a positive role model. In a study done in Child Development, the lone factor shown to reduce children’s prejudice was whether their parents had a friend of another race. If you say, “We should be friends with all kinds of people”, but the only ones who come over for dinner are those who look like you, what is your child going to think?

There are a lot of parents that talk a good game about embracing diversity, yet subtly communicate something totally different. Do you laugh when you hear a joke about a racial group? Are you willing to point out intolerance when you see it? We know that kids learn from what they see more than from what they hear. Check out one of our recent posts on respect. 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.

ChildrensBooks2U

Diverse Dinner

You should also be honest about the fact that discrimination still exists. If you talk about past inequalities and then tell your child that we have fixed that and we are all equal now, it can actually encourage prejudicial beliefs because children will see remaining inequalities as the result of how hard people work. Instead, talking honestly about systematic racial bias, like how wealth inequity is not a reflection of an individual’s efforts, but rather tied to the legacy of discrimination can help your child to understand that these are not individual issues.

Research bears this out. Elementary school children read biographies of famous African Americans. One group’s stories included details about how the person had encountered forms of racial discrimination and the other group did not. Afterward, the kids whose books included the true historical context found the subjects more likable and sympathetic.

Check out one of our more recent posts on 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. A quick reminder that all of our Halloween children’s books on the website are now on sale.

ChildrensBooks2U

Halloween Doodles

 

Explain to them about stereotypes and racism.

Kids already have certain biases about other cultures by the age of 5 or 6. Do not be surprised if your child repeats something derogatory that they heard at school and asks, “Why do Muslims hate America?” or perpetuates a stereotype by saying, “All Jews are rich.” When they do, let them know that while some people in a group may seem to fit a certain description it does not mean that everyone is that way. This is your cue to introuce the idea of discrimination: “Sometimes people decide that everyone with dark skin is mean or that people who are not white are bad. That is wrong, and it makes me sad. It is not fair to judge someone without knowing him or her.”

Bring up the stereotypes that your child sees in movies or on TV. If you turn the sound off on a cartoon show and ask who is the good guy and who is the bad guy, kids know instantly by the way that the characters appear. The solution is not to stop watching but to point out the problems you see. For example, you could watch The Little Mermaid, with its emormous villian, Ursula. Then say, “It is a shame that overweight characters are depicted as evil. I know lots of nice people who are heavy.” See more of our posts on, 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.

ChildrensBooks2U

Bonding

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.

ChildrensBooks2U

Different

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.

ChildrensBooks2U

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.

ChildrensBooks2U