Adapted from Too Small To Fail
As a parent or caregiver, you can help your child develop an appreciation and respect for others starting at an early age. Research shows that babies as young as 6 months old can notice differences in the ways people look. By helping your child learn about his/her own culture and the cultures of others you can help him/her build a strong sense of identity.
Everyday moments like reading or dinner times can be opportunities to help your child develop positive attitudes about other people’s cultures as well as his/her own. By fostering an appreciation of differences and similarities, you can help your child learn to love what makes people unique and value these differences in the world around him/her.
Here are a few tips on what you can do to help your child appreciate diversity:
- Expose your little one to other cultures. You can teach your child to say “hello” or “thank you” in the language of people from other cultures who live in your community, or attend local cultural events and festivals. Read more on how you can help your child understand and respect differences on PBS Parents.
- Foster respect in your child. You can play a great role in teaching your little one about differences, and how to best respond to them: with respect. This Huffington Post Parents article shares great tips about what you can do as a parent to raise kind and accepting children.
- Help your little one take pride in his or her identity. When learning to appreciate differences, children also learn to love what makes them unique, which helps build self-esteem. Create a song with your child about something that makes him or her unique, and then sing it together. If you need some inspiration, this Sesame Street video “I Love My Hair” is a great place to start.
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