5 Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Differences in People

 

 


Differences are what make us unique, but they can be confusing for kids. Here are 5 ways that you can teach kids about differences in people.

Did you know that one out of every five students in the U.S. report being bullied in school?

This worrying statistic indicates the prevalence of social exclusion among children. Children who discriminate against peers are likely to grow into adults that have little tolerance for differences in people.

But what if you could help kids understand the importance of diversity in people? Could this be the missing piece of the puzzle needed to quash all forms of discrimination in the society?

Differences are what make us unique, but they can be confusing for kids. Here are 5 ways that you can teach kids about differences in people.

1. Through Creative and Fun Activities

Kids get easily bored. In order to get them to understand the beauty of diversity in people, you have to be creative.

So how can you use fun activities to help them learn?

Use Different Shades of Stockings

Have the kids put on different shades of stockings and match those shades to a particular skin tone and ethnic background.

Use tan, red, black, pink, and white colored stockings and let them try and figure out where they fit and where their other colleagues fit.

Use Hair Pictures

Show the children various hair types on pictures and help them match different hair types and textures to each ethnic group. Explain to the little ones that people have different hair colors and curl patterns.

Prepare demonstrations showing them how to care for each hair type.

Play Dress Up

Bring clothing sourced from different cultures and have the kids try them on and learn about them. For example, you could have a warbonnet (feathered headdresses that are worn by the traditional Red Indian men), a burka (Muslim women attire), or a Yarmulke (a head cover worn by Jewish men).

Discuss which cultures put on different garments and attires and let the kids learn what they represent.

2. Exposing Kids to the Differences in People

It is one thing for kids to hear you tell them and show them in pictures that people are different.

But, it’s a whole other story to have them experience things for themselves. Different museums contain artifacts and historical paraphernalia collected from ancient times.

If, for example, you visit an Indian museum your kids get to see and experience how the Indians used to live.

How about scheduling a series of weekends where you take your kids to different restaurants to try out different cuisines?

You all could go to a Mexican restaurant, a French restaurant, an African restaurant, a Jamaican restaurant, and so on. You could also attend various community functions or events hosted by different ethnic and religious members of the community.

Let your kids participate, ask questions and interact with different people to get a sense of who these people really are.

3. Setting a Good Example for Kids

Who do you talk to? Who are your friends? How do you relate with people who do not look, sound or dress like you?

It may be a bitter pill to swallow but kids can be uncaring, disrespectful and mean to their fellow kids because they learn these vices from their own parents. If you want your kids to respect differences in people you have to be respectful to others as well.

They have to learn from you that it is ok to talk to a homeless person the same way you talk to a rich person. That it’s ok to be caring and kind to a Muslim lady in a Hijab the same way you would be kind to someone in jeans and a t-shirt.

You can say something to someone in a fit of rage without knowing that your kid is keenly picking up on what you are saying. And in the spirit of being just like his momma or poppa, he does the exact same thing to other kids in school.

Be careful about the language you use, even when you are angry. This way, your child also knows how to choose and use their words to convey displeasure without disrespecting others.

Make it a habit to avoid using curse words and making jokes about various cultures and races.

To ensure that your kids understand, try and role play just to see how the kids are able to deal with different emotional states.

4. Using Technology

Raising kids in this digital world is a tough job but you can take advantage of existing technology to keep your family together.

You could go out to watch a movie, download games you can play as a pastime, and search for other exciting bonding opportunities in your local area.

When parents bind with their children, they make them feel loved. This helps keep negative emotions at bay, thus the child will be less likely to develop biases against others.

Also, you can use different types of digital media to show how different characters actions can either help build or tear someone down emotionally.

Say, one child is wearing normal gumboots at school but yours is wearing colorful, trendy moon boots for kids. Your child may look down on or laugh at the other kid for not having trendy footwear like them.

Let your kid know that this is wrong. Tell the children that it’s bad for them to be mean and hurtful to others and that they should instead treat people better by being kind and respectful.

Show the kids that it’s ok to hug their friend if they are crying, to hold their friends’ hand if they are fearful or to simply talk calmly to their playmates or classmates to help them face difficult situations.

5. Teach Your Child to Embrace Their Individuality

Let your child know that they are unique. Let them value themselves and learn how to acknowledge their feelings. Thereafter, let the kid know that other people, however different, are also unique and that their feelings matter as well.

Explain to the child that having different people with different, beliefs, cultures, personalities, interests and appearances works to bring a sense of diversity that makes the world an intriguing place to live in.

When your child learns that it is ok to be themselves and at the same time appreciate other people with all their uniqueness, it cultivates a sense of individuality in themselves and others too.

Teaching Children to Embrace Differences in People Helps to Make the World a Better Place

Differences in people should be celebrated and not frowned upon. Children tend to be very inquisitive. Feed them with the right information pertaining to diversity in people and they will become adults that understand that everyone is unique and special in their own way.

Check out this blog on effective parenting in the digital era.

Mo Clark-Brewster

Originally from Tennessee, Mo relocated to Atlanta, Georgia to pursue a career in media and entertainment. Mo has been casted in several small roles for YouTube and Amazon Prime Series. Interests include; acting, reading, writing, and being a media correspondent.