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How can I help my child to embrace diversity?

Michele Borba
Psychology
From a young age, expose your child to positive images-including toys, music, literature, videos, public role models, and examples from TV or newspaper reports-that represent a variety of ethnic groups. Encourage your child, no matter how young, to have contact with individuals of different races, religions, cultures, genders, abilities, and beliefs. The more your child sees how you embrace diversity, the more prone he’ll be to follow your standards.

Use multicultural literature: Jan Arnow, author of Teaching Peace, points out that “only 10 percent of the almost five thousand children’s books published each year in the United States are multicultural in nature. Of those, fewer than fifty titles annually have been written about Native American and Asian peoples.” That is a troubling statistic, because research says that children first become aware of race and gender differences around two years of age, around the time many parents have started nightly bedtime traditions of reading with their kids. Expose your child early to a variety of multicultural literature that features positive images of all cultures and genders. It is one way to increase tolerance as well as reduce or prevent prejudice.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.