Relationships that are tied to family, culture, and community help kids develop a sense of belonging, and once kids have a sense of their own identity, they can also recognize and appreciate the differences in others and build skills for interacting effectively with others.
Kids develop an understanding of culture, family, and community by:
Demonstrating self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities
Expressing comfort and joy with human diversity, using accurate language for human differences, forming caring connections
Developing an awareness of the functions, contributions, and diverse characteristics of their own family and others
Recognizing unfairness (injustice), using language to describe unfairness, and understanding that unfairness hurts
Demonstrating a sense of empowerment and the skill to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions
Recognizing and describing physical features of the classroom, home, and community
Developing a basic understanding of the principles of how communities function
Help your kids develop their sense of self by asking questions, listening, and asking follow-up questions. Experience things with your kids, too – what do they like to do? Can you join in? What do you like to do? Involve them! Your kids will learn about your family and culture in these ways as well.
Conversations about diversity can – and should! – happen any time. Read books together with diverse characters, talk about famous figures, and look for local community cultural events to attend.
Talk with your kids about what happens within their different environments, like child care or Grandma’s house. Who helps clean up? What happens after nap? When is it your turn to choose the story?
Adapted from the Wyoming Early Learning Standards