We live in a world that’s becoming increasingly diverse and open — and that’s an amazing thing. Among the most willing to learn and accept are children, who have minds waiting to be molded by the adults they trust.
That’s why now’s the perfect time to teach your children to be inclusive. Understanding different cultures, ways of life and abilities will serve them well in so many ways. If you need more inspiration, here are the ways that teaching inclusivity to kids now can impact all of our futures.
When It Comes to Learning, the Younger, the Better
Like we’ve already said, now is the perfect time to teach your kids to be inclusive. Research has shown that infants can start to notice the differences between certain people. And, by the time they reach preschool age, some little ones can have racist ideas ingrained in their minds. So, start your inclusivity teaching as early as you can to make sure it lays the foundation for a forever open mind.
On top of that, you’ve probably noticed that your young children repeat everything that you say. Sometimes, that can be a bad thing. But when it comes to teaching them, this is a great advantage. The lessons you teach them now will stick with them, and they will be repeated. That means your child could parrot what you say to their friends, teaching them a lesson about inclusiveness, too.
Not All Schools Make It a Priority
You’re interested in teaching inclusivity to your child. Unfortunately, not all schools will make this a highlight of their curriculum.
Teachers might make an aside when kids have fights or questions, of course. But most educators don’t have the time to stray from their must-cover curriculum in core subjects, no matter how much it would enrich their pupils’ lives. As kids get older, their coursework might include books that cover these topics, but little kids should be introduced to the idea of inclusivity, too.
So, if you start talking about it at home, you’ll ensure your children understand the idea. If their teacher covers it, too, that’s great — it’ll only reinforce what they already know. But home-taught lessons lay the foundation no matter what happens at school.
They’ll Know It’s Safe to Have a Conversation With You
It’s difficult to talk to your children about inclusivity, race, religion and other hot-button topics. Still, you should make sure they know that they can talk to you about anything and ask you questions.
Some parents might prefer to avoid questions about racism, disabilities and other sensitive topics. But you want your children to know that they can approach you about anything. You also want them to know that these differences aren’t shameful — they’re to be celebrated, and that’s exactly what you show when you explain and discuss them together.
Always remember that your child’s a child. Their inquisitive mind demands answers and, although some questions might be tough to answer, it’s worth having open conversations. Your child will learn about inclusivity, but they’ll also learn about you. You’re someone they know they can talk to, and that’s a valuable reputation to have in your children’s eyes.
They’ll Stand Up for What’s Right
One in every five children is bullied, according to the National Bullying Prevention Center. You don’t want this to be your child, nor do you want them to sit idly by while a classmate gets left out, picked on or bullied in any other kind of way.
If your child understands inclusivity early on, then they will make a point to include those who might otherwise get left behind. That’s the kind of child that parents want to raise — one who’s friendly and kind, even when other kids want to bully and exclude someone.
Not only that, but your child will have an easier time opening up to classmates who look different, follow different religions or have different physical abilities than they do. Some adults have a hard time doing so, and a lot of that discomfort comes from unfamiliarity. So, encouraging your child now will make them better people all around.
As kids get older, they’ll retain this sense of what’s right and wrong. Having such strong morals will only make your son or daughter a better person, one of whom you can be very proud.
Make the World a Better Place
It’s true — the children are the future, and we should teach them the things we value and wish we knew. Inclusivity is a huge lesson to learn, especially in the diverse world in which we live. So, make it part of your early teachings, and continue to talk about it as your child grows up. That way, we’ll all live in an open-minded, understanding society in a few years’ time. It all starts with you.