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10 Tips For Teaching Kids About Diversity

Written by: Suzi Freeman, Diversity Equity And Inclusion Panel

 

Even though I feel that our youth are more open and accepting of Diversity and Inclusion, we still have a long way to go in bringing awareness and stopping the bullying. Diversity means representing people from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. It is a mix of individuals from varying identities such as race, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, ability level, sexual orientation, religious background, and other aspects that make an individual unique.


It is never too early to teach our children the importance of diversity. A healthy society is one in which people from all walks of life can live, work and thrive together. This starts with educating our youth on the importance of diversity and helping them understand that diversity does not just mean a different race. So please don't wait for your children to learn about it in school! You can start teaching them at home today. Ten Ways to teach your children about diversity at home Teach your children about these values early in their lives. There are many ways to teach children about diversity, but the best way is at home. Children learn what they live, so you can, to a certain degree, teach them these values at home by your example. Diverse households especially have a huge impact on children; children who grow up in diverse families are typically more accepting of others and their views. Following the ten ways listed below will help you raise your children to be more inclusive and accepting of others. 1. Provide your child with a safe space You can provide your child with a safe zone by creating an environment where they feel accepted, loved, and comfortable enough to talk about any issues that may arise. They should also have someone that can always help and give advice. Parents are usually the first people their kids go to when there are problems. So please make yourself available for them by setting aside time to listen to them. 2. Encourage your child's curiosity about others You can encourage conversations about diverse experiences in your home by introducing open-ended questions, books, and videos on the topic. 3. Praise them for trying new things Take opportunities to promote and praise your child's curiosity about others as often as possible.


For example, if your child wants to try out for a soccer team that is known to be multicultural, praise them for their efforts of trying something new and different. Try not to discourage them from trying it because you are worried they may not fit in or have enough experience.

4. Have open conversations about differences Having honest discussions about differences is a way to promote understanding and acceptance. For example, you can start these conversations by asking simple questions about their day at school or what they did over the weekend with their friends. 5. Allow your child to voice their concerns Encourage your child to speak up if they feel discriminated against or feel unsafe. Openly talk to them about the topic and give advice on how they can address it if it happens again. 6. Teach them about different cultures Teach your child about various cultures that are present around them. You can start by talking to them about what diversity is and how it relates to themselves. It could be a great idea to visit different museums and cultural centers around your town to help educate and introduce them to these differences. 7. Have a support system Make sure you have friends and family around you that will support your beliefs. Having like-minded people around you can make it easier for you to explain these topics to your child in an understanding manner. For example, if you have a friend who has a child of different ethnicity, see if they will have an open conversation about their experiences because they can relate and give advice on how they approached the topic. 8. Brainstorm solutions together If your child expresses that they are being discriminated against, brainstorm solutions together to resolve the issue. You can encourage them to talk directly, in a positive way with the discriminating person, or go to a trusted adult for support. See if you can brainstorm what things they may have in common, and that could be a great ice breaker for a new conversation. 9. Model diversity in your own life Model the type of behavior you want your child to follow when around people who are different from them. For example, if you want your child to be open-minded and accept other people, make sure you do the same. 10. Focus on their abilities, not their differences

Make sure your child knows that there is more to them than the "thing" that makes them different. Please encourage them to focus on what they are passionate about and what makes them unique instead of how people may perceive them because of their difference.


Teaching your child about diversity at a young age is important for their development and will help them grow up to be more accepting of people who are different from themselves. It takes everyone working together with an open mind and heart to create balance. Let's achieve that goal by educating our children on what it means for society today!


Do you agree or disagree? I would love to hear your comments and email me at suzi@suzifreeman.com.


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Suzi Freeman, Diversity Equity And Inclusion Panel

Suzi Freeman is a Certified Suicide Prevention Specialist, Master of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, & Master Clinical Hypnotherapist.

Suzi utilizes her training and certifications to teach individuals the skills needed to cope better with stressful and anxious situations that may otherwise lead them to a dark moment.

Suzi understands the need for preventative training and obtaining skills for stress and anxiety management; she had struggled with suicidal ideation for many years. Both of her sons are in high-stress jobs, military, and civilian police; she has prioritized helping people build strong mental resilience and teaching suicide prevention within the military and police communities.

She volunteers with multiple military charities, such as the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., and Hire Heroes USA.

Suzi holds the title of Mrs. Elite Arizona for Women of Achievement 2022 as well. She is recognized for her work in the community for suicide prevention and helping build mental resilience in others.

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