As a parent, you are the most influential teacher in your child's life, and the lessons that you teach will have a lasting impact. If you are curious about having conversations with your children that promote inclusivity and kindness, here are a few tips:
Model It: It's essential to talk to your children about embracing differences, but they will emulate your behavior. Your actions, both subtle and overt, are the best teachers.
Challenge Intolerance: If your child says or does something that indicates bias, don't meet the action with silence. Sometimes, “Don't say that," isn't enough. Use this as an opportunity to spark a conversation by asking, "What made you say that about Sam?" Make sure that you explain, briefly, why the behavior is unacceptable.
Emphasize the Positive: Just as you should challenge intolerance, you should also acknowledge when your child demonstrates empathy and respect. When you catch your child treating people kindly, let her know that you noticed, and discuss why it’s desirable behavior.
For additional tips regarding bringing more awareness about diversity and inclusion into your home, check out Teaching Beyond the Golden Rule.