Teaching Diversity and Equality To Your Children

image credit: Mosman Library

image credit: Mosman Library

I couldn’t imagine growing up in a time where a friend might not be able to use the same bathroom or drinking fountain as I could — or even that I might be ousted for having that person as a friend. Yesterday, I asked my 6-year-old what he thought of that. “Really?” he asked. Yes, it’s hard to believe.

Then I told him how happy I was that I didn’t have work and he didn’t have school tomorrow (Monday, January 20). “Thanks to Martin Luther King,” he quickly interjected.

Just a couple days ago my sister-in-law told me how a patient wouldn’t let her draw her blood because of the color of her skin. (My sister-in-law is white.) Yes, racism runs both ways.

I’m doing my best to teach my children open-mindedness and to make friends with others because they are fun to be around, nice to others and interesting — no matter what they look like. Here are a few ways how:

  • I never bring up skin color as a defining trait. My oldest son has just started to call out differences, noting “darker skin” very rarely and wanted to know how they got it.
  • Letting him know that we live in one of the best nations in the world where we have the freedom to choose what we want to do. That is both a privilege and a powerful opportunity.
  • Treat others as you want to be treated. Simple.

How do you teach diversity and equality to your children?

—Sarah Jo Sautter, Parenting Program Blog Editor and Publisher

 For more ways to celebrate MLK Day, read  Thank You, Dr. King, For An Extra Day With My Children.

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