We live in a diverse world filled with rich traditions, cultures, stories, and routines. 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: 1.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.

2.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.

3.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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Let’s Talk About the Sunshine

Talking is Teaching: Let’s Talk About Books

This week, visit your local library to find a book about your family’s culture and a book about another culture. Talk with your little one about what was similar in the two books, and what was different. You can say things like, “In the books we read together, the families were wearing different clothes” or “The families in the books talked about how they both ate dinner together every night, but they ate different types of food.”

more tips like this at talkingisteaching.org »

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Tip of the week: Talk with your child about the similarities and differences of close friends and family

This Sesame Street Video is a good tool to help teach your child that while people may look different, they still have a lot in common.

 

Talk to your child about how we are all the same – we all need to eat, to be loved by our families – and, that there are many things that also make us unique: we look different, we may speak in different languages, we may eat different meals. A good way to start the conversation is by talking about close friends and family who your child knows. You can ask things like, “What makes you and Jen the same? What makes you and Jen different and special in your own ways?”

more tips like this at talkingisteaching.org »