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Children and Diversity

Updated on September 12, 2013
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.

Children's Books On Diversity

Ever thought of children and diversity training? This has not crossed most parents’ minds, but in an effort to create “glocal” children (local and global) this type of training has its benefits. Our societal makeup is no longer branded as black and white, but that of a rainbow. Therefore, as a reminder to our children of our societal shift in the makeup of people, we as parents and other nurturers can provide an opportunity for our children to take part in diversity training. Our children would benefit from knowing that diversity does not stop at race and gender; it encompasses, but is not limited to, the following:

  • unique perspectives
  • beliefs
  • cultural diversity
  • work and/or volunteer experience
  • abilities and/or disabilities
  • education
  • geographic location
  • computer literacy
  • values
  • religion
  • age
  • ethnicity
  • language

What exactly is diversity? How do we explain it to our children? We can define diversity as a combination of differences and similarities. This combination is important to employers and other organizations that see diversity as a key element to their success. Our children need to know that employers and other organizations seek out individuals who have experienced and encourage experiencing a diverse environment. To prepare our children for a “glocal” society parents may assist their children in seeking out avenues of diversity. Obvious avenues of diverse environments are our children’s schools and neighborhoods / communities. Most of the time our children tend to be drawn to those that look like them, but just because a person looks like them does not mean that similarities are present. Our children need to know the importance of getting past “looks” and seeking out the similarities, if any, as well as accepting the differences. It would benefit children to learn that just because a package is wrapped differently does not mean that what’s inside is not precious.

Have you ever noticed that when children, young ones in particular, are placed in a room full of toys, that they begin playing with one another? They approach one another regardless of skin color, handicapable, dress code, or otherwise. Most parents notice this and are glad to see that their children are having such a good time playing with one another. As we and our children age, this type of behavior gets lost. Experiencing diversity is enlightening and can be inexpensive – as parents make a list of places and/or cultural events you and your child may go to, but most important, strike up conversations with individuals whom you or your child would not normally talk to; for communication plays a major role in experiencing diversity. Within conversations lies the discovery of differences as well as similarities.

Lastly, encourage your child to be purposeful about diversity, which for the most part, leads a path away from their comfort zone. Also, don’t forget, “monkey see, monkey do.” Be that example of diversity for your child.


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    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi KrystalD, thank you. I grew up in a very diverse neighborhhood and even now my friends are of different races and cultures - we enjoy each other very much. It's natural.

    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      This is excellent! Children need to be exposed to as much diversity as possible to develop understanding of differences. This is essential as we are living in a much more global society. Thank you for writing this!