When it comes to teaching inclusivity to children, I feel we all have the best intentions at heart. We want our kids to make others feel welcome just as they are. Wanting this for our children and having this be a reality is completely up to the environment we raise them in.
Raising them to be accepting of all people, despite our differences, is a wonderful perspective to have. We come in many colors and shapes and sizes. We vary in beliefs and values. The core value remains the same; we all want to be respected. How can we teach the ideas of inclusivity at a young age? There are a few ways to get the process started, and I’ve shared some of them below to help!
Start The Conversation
I think we as parents tend to overthink the process of most things, which can completely paralyze us from making any real headway at all. Simply starting the conversation at home is a good way to get the ball rolling. Ask a few questions about what they think inclusivity means, or possibly what it means to them. If they’re older, ask them about the social dynamics at their school or with their friends. You can quickly tell if your child is an “all inclusive” thinker or could possibly use some extra guidance in including others.
Buy The Books
Sometimes the conversations can be brought on thanks to the help of a book. They sell books for ALL ages that discuss all kinds of topics revolving around our beautiful differences. If your children are on the younger side, they offer beautifully illustrated books that highlight how diverse our world can be. Have an older audience? Reach for the books that tackle discussions of sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. The more we realize how unique we all are, the more accepting we can be of one another.
Watch What You Purchase
Do you tend to purchase the same looking Barbie doll everytime your child’s holiday wish list comes around? Does most of your children’s toys have the same skin tone or size? You could be pushing the idea of a lack of inclusivity without even realizing it. Start to purposefully purchase toys who celebrate diversity. We all don’t look the same, so why should our dolls and toys? Allow your purchases to help do some of the talking.
Watch What They Watch
Do the television shows your children are tuning into help teach inclusivity? You don’t have to fully take over their after school TV choices, but maybe change up their programming from time to time. Take them out of the house and into the community by getting them involved in local events celebrating diversity. Introduce them to different cultures and environments, just so they get a taste of how colorful our world actually is.
Be A Role Model
At the end of the day, our children lead by example. Children follow what we do more than what we say, so it’s important that our actions are sending the right message. Show them how to love our diverse world by leading with that mindset yourself. Explain differences, don’t ignore them. Be accepting of all and embrace everyone with the same amount of love and respect. If you simply practice what you preach, you will be proud of the example you are setting for your young viewers.
Inclusivity for kids are lessons worth teaching! Share how you talk to your children about it in the comments.
Catch Up On Mom To Mom Below: