How to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in Your Child’s Life

Talking openly and positively about differences can help children better understand themselves and those around them. Embracing diversity and inclusion empowers kids to engage their world with curiosity, confidence and kindness.

Ways to promote diversity and inclusion at home

The best way for kids to learn about diversity and inclusion is to see it modeled by trusted adults. Parents can take active steps to make sure their child is immersed in communities and opportunities that embrace and celebrate differences.

Questions parents can ask themselves

  • What implicit biases do I have? Take a test.
  • What is unique about our family culture? How do we celebrate that uniqueness? How do we respect and celebrate other cultures?
  • What types of diversity do we have in our family?
  • Who do we invite to our home for social time?
  • Is our neighborhood diverse and inclusive? If not, what makes it that way?
  • What types of diversity and inclusion are reflected in our religious or ethical community? How can we be more diverse and inclusive?
  • Does my child see diverse people in positions of authority (e.g., teachers, coaches, health care providers, faith leaders, etc.)? If not, how can I change that?
  • Do our extracurricular or leisure time activities include diverse groups of people? What opportunities exist to become more involved?
  • Does the media we consume (e.g., books, shows, videos, games, etc.) feature diverse characters and storylines without stereotypes? Do we use media as an opportunity to talk about diversity and inclusion?

How to involve kids

  • Acknowledge differences. Kids notice them, so there’s no need to pretend they don’t exist. Emphasize the positive aspects of differences and be honest about the ways people are mistreated for their differences.
  • Ask open-ended questions and listen without judgment. Encourage your child to keep asking questions by expressing your values for diversity and inclusion without shutting down the conversation. Get ideas from websites like Learning for Justice.
  • Take time when you need it. If you’re unsure how to answer your child’s question, tell them you’ll think about it and set a time to talk when you’re more prepared.
  • Speak up when bias happens. Whether your child or someone else does or says something prejudiced, address it in the moment. Silence teaches children that it’s OK.
  • Read diverse books and watch diverse media together. Maybe even start a book club with friends.
  • Discuss current events at an age-appropriate level with help from resources like Table Talk.
  • Take action together. Get ideas from resources like Doing Good Together.

Partner with teachers to promote diversity and inclusion

Children spend a lot of time at school, and educators work hard to facilitate students’ learning. Parents can support their efforts to teach diversity and inclusion by getting actively involved.

  • Get involved in the classroom. Help plan learning activities and field trips that expose kids to new experiences and points of view.
  • Ask how diversity and inclusion are being modeled and taught at school. Find out what curriculum is being used.
  • Share helpful resources that promote diversity and inclusion, like Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom: A Resource for Educators Learning for Justice, and Beyond Heroes and Holidays.
  • Donate diverse books to the class or school library.
  • Communicate openly and regularly with teachers and school personnel about your child’s unique needs, attributes, strengths, challenges and cultural values and your expectations of how they will be treated at school.
  • Learn more about individualized education plans, adaptive technologies and teaching strategies that ensure diverse students are getting what they need to be successful learners.

Excerpted from “How to promote diversity and inclusion in your child’s life” from Children’s Mercy Hospital. Read the full post for more details on the above as well as how to work with teachers and school administrators to promote diversity.

Source: The Children’s Mercy Hospital | How to promote diversity and inclusion in your child’s life, | © 2022 The Children’s Mercy Hospital
CHC is here for you. Sign up for the CHC Virtual Village to receive weekly email updates about upcoming news, events and resources related to your interests.

Do you need someone to talk to? To schedule an evaluation or to get advice about your child’s or teen’s challenges, call or email a CHC Care Coordinator at 650.688.3625 or CHC teletherapy services are available now.

You might also be interested in these library resources:

Tags: , , , , ,