Mix it Up: Teaching Kids about Diversity
As much as we want to teach kids to be colorblind and oblivious to other people's differences, kids are wired to notice when people don't look, act or live the same way they do. Even babies can recognize physical differences in people when they're shown pictures. But what they're not wired to do is exhibit prejudices; those attitudes are learned.So what's a parent to do when kids point out people who are disabled, of a different race or of a different family dynamic? Some might want to clam up or admonish the child for pointing out differences, but this behavior simply adds stigma. All a preschooler is doing is making an observation, not a judgment, when she says something like "That girl's skin is brown." Acknowledge that she's correct in the observation, then say something like, "Right, and she's got pigtails like yours!"