Ways to encourage diversity
Diversity refers to the concept that each individual is unique and has individual differences such as religion, race and culture. We need to teach children that although people are different, we can still accept and respect these differences.
- Food is a great way to spark a conversation about diversity. Have a meal at an ethnic restaurant and discuss the culture and traditions from that country. You could also find a ethnic recipe and cook it at home with your kids, such as Mexican mince and tacos.
- Teach them to say a few words in a new language.
- Encourage your children to interact with a wide variety of children at school such as those with different heritages, learning needs or family units.
- Read books or watch programmes about children from different places and countries.
- Encourage younger children to play with diverse toys that challenge gender stereotypes and ethnicity. For example, not just playing with Barbie and Ken.
- Visiting new places and countries teaches children firsthand about different cultures, religions and ways of life.
- Go to different places of worship and show them the differences.
- Encourage them to embrace their strengths and accept their differences as unique and special e.g. being short or wearing glasses.
- Be an example, don’t stereotype other people for their physical attributes, sexual affiliation or religion. Interact with diverse people and friends.
- Take your children to cultural festivals, events or celebrations such as an Indian wedding or a Diwali Festival.
- Charity work, especially with older kids, leads to opportunities in meeting diverse people at places such as soup kitchens, hospitals, orphanages or retirement facilities.