Tips on raising minority-friendly kids

It’s natural for kids to notice differences in a person’s appearance, manner of speaking or ability, and to express curiosity or even fear about them.

Most parents can probably share a comparably mortifying moment when their child noticed someone different and expressed it verbally, and loudly: “Look Mum, why does that man only have one leg?” or “Mum, why is that lady so fat?”

How parents deal with these occasions can help (or hinder) their child’s preparedness to accept and include others who are different from themselves. Here are a few tips on how to raise a minority/diversity-friendly child.

1)      Children need to learn about their own backgrounds and get a sense of their own identity. Explain to them about their family and their family history, with photographs if possible.

2)      Actively teach your kids about the backgrounds of people who are different from them; whether it be race, ethnicity, colour, language, ability, or other.

3)     Expose your kids to activities, materials and concrete experiences that destroy stereotypes. Take the whole family along to local culture events that differ from your own, and make it your practice to include others who are different from you in your own life.

5)      Help your children learn to enjoy, appreciate, and seek out differences rather than to fear them.

6)       Teach your children that harassment of others who are different is never acceptable.

Enjoy this? Check out more on parenting: familytimes.co.nz/make-nutrition-fun-kids.