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How to Help Your Child Appreciate Diversity?

In today's interconnected world, embracing diversity is not just a value but a necessity. Malcom Forbes once said, “Diversity is the art of thinking independently together.” One of the pillars of Dibber International Preschool is fostering diversity appreciation among our preschoolers. Helping your child appreciate diversity is a crucial aspect of their development that fosters empathy, understanding, and respect for others. By exposing your child to diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives, you open their hearts and minds to the richness of human experience.

Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Diversity encompasses the unique qualities that define each individual, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political views, and other ideologies. 

  • Equity is a principle of fairness that acknowledges the need to provide individuals with the specific support they require to achieve equality, recognizing that not everyone begins from the same starting point.

  • Inclusion emphasizes the importance of ensuring that no individual is excluded based on characteristics such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or other differences. It involves creating an environment where everyone feels valued, has equal access to opportunities and resources, and can fully participate and contribute to society.

How to Ensure Children are Appreciating Diversity?

  • Encourage Them to Ask Questions 

Encouraging children to ask questions about differences can promote a better understanding of people who are different from them. When children have questions about physical characteristics or cultural differences, engage them in open and honest conversations.  

This approach teaches children that it is acceptable to notice differences and, importantly, that discussing diversity is positive. Teach children to inquire respectfully, using phrases like "Why does she use a wheelchair?" or "Why does my friend’s mom speak a different language?" This helps foster empathy and promotes inclusive communication.

  • Help Them Notice Similarities 

Teaching children about diversity appreciation by highlighting similarities rather than differences is a more effective approach in helping children value diversity. Even if your child's friends may appear different in certain ways, they probably share more similarities than differences. For instance, emphasize the common interests the classmate shares with your child, such as enjoying the same TV shows and books, having a pet fish, enjoying music, or loving dancing.

  • Be a Role Model 

Our children learn from observing our actions and listening to our words, so it is crucial to convey the right messages. Although young children may not grasp prejudice, they can absorb attitudes expressed by the adults around them. Monitor your own behavior and surroundings. Reflect on your approach to acceptance and inclusion and consider fostering a more positively diverse environment. Take steps to connect with neighbors, engage with others at school or community events, and be attentive to those who may feel excluded.

  • Educate Your Child About Your Family 

It is also valuable to teach your children about your family's histories and experiences. Understanding their own family background is the first step toward appreciating diversity. Learning about their origins can help children embrace their identity and develop respect for other cultures. Children's books are an excellent tool for introducing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Way Forward

In our contemporary and diverse society, children naturally exhibit curiosity towards individuals who differ from them. Consequently, it becomes imperative to instill in children a deep appreciation for diversity, equity, and inclusion from an early age. Parents and caregivers play a pivotal role in fostering children's acceptance and understanding of others by imparting lessons in acceptance, celebrating diversity, and facilitating exposure to varied activities. It is essential to recognize that the journey of learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion is continuous and spans across a lifetime.

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