By: Jason M. Jowers, MSTeaching children about diversity and inclusion can be challenging for parents and professionals. In this article from PBS Parents, Dr. Chris Metzler has several suggestions when talking to kids about respecting differences . These suggestions include:
- Leading by example is overly important for parents and adults if they want children to learn more about being open to accepting differences.
- By getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing communities that have diverse differences than our own. He suggests seeking out cultural events in your local communities.
- By listening and responding to our language used in conversations about diversity and inclusion, including exploring how language and stereotypes can be hurtful.
- To not be “blind” to differences in those around us and to be genuinely curious, but respectful, to practices in other cultures.
- Finally, Dr. Metzler suggests to avoid political correctness as that can lead to stereotyping and not allowing to see the whole individual.
One great resource we found that is kid-friendly is the book “There’s a Cat in Our Class! A Tale about Getting Along” by Jeanie Franz Ransom. This is a fantastic book for children on exploring diversity and inclusion, as well as giving parents and professionals an avenue to discuss these subjects with young children. To learn more about this book and the author, click here.
For more on diversity and inclusion, be sure to view our archived webinar, “All Hands on Deck! Developing Culturally Alert Communication in Relationships.” This webinar examines the relationship between self-awareness, knowledge of others, and culturally alert interventions that can be utilized when working with clients.
References Metzler, C. (2009). Teaching Children about Diversity. PBS Parents. Retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/parents/experts/archive/2009/02/teaching-children-about-divers.html
 Ransom, J. & Langdo, B. (2016). There’s a Cat in Our Class: A Tale about Getting Along. Washington D.C.: Magination Press. Retrieved from: https://www.apa.org/pubs/magination/441B196.aspx?tab=1
This post was written by members of the OneOp Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Learn more about us at https://oneop.org/family-development, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter. Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.