How to Teach Children about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
Children are naturally very inquisitive at early ages. Therefore, when a question arises about race it is a perfect teachable moment for you and your child. These moments are important because they shape the way your child interacts and perceives others. Many caregivers of children may believe they have to or can wait for the right time for these discussions, but if you wait too long it may be hard to change your child’s perceptions of others. Keep these statistics in mind.
According to Healthychildren.org
As early as 6 months, a baby's brain can notice race-based differences.
By ages 2 to 4, children can internalize racial bias.
By age 12, many children become set in their beliefs—giving parents a decade to mold the learning process, so that it decreases racial bias and improves cultural understanding.
So, what can be done? Here are some ways you can help foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in your child.
Be a mirror: Show your child that you interact with people who many not look, speak, or dress like you do.
Read with diversity: Read books by people and with characters who are different races and ethnicities.
Don’t hide: When an issue arises, or you sense your child may have a bias address it right away.
Below are some additional resources you can use to help discuss with your child.