Not only do people have different kinds of possessions, they also can look different. As your child heads off to kindergarten,she will most likely meet other children whose skin, hair, or eyes are different. Some children will be bigger and some smaller. Some children may have other physical differences and need the aid of a wheelchair or hearing aid to help them function.
What Your Child Should Know
Your child should know:
- That not all people are made exactly the same
- That every person is special and deserves to be treated with kindness and respect regardless of how he is different
How You Can Help
Seek out opportunities for your child to build relationships with children who are from a different race or have different abilities.
- Spend time with grandparents and other extended family members to help your child build positive experiences with people who are different in age or size.
- Get involved in local groups that reach a broad range of children and adults from different races and abilities. This can help your child build positive connections and relationships with others who are different.
Young children can naturally build up fears or be a little apprehensive when they are around people different from themselves. As they build relationships that cross boundaries of race or physical differences, children develop healthier perspectives and appreciation for others regardless of differences.
Reflect, Revise, Revisit
As you and your child come into contact with children or adults who are clearly different from the people your child is used to spending time with, watch your child's reactions and talk to him about his feelings, sense of curiosity, and perspectives. As you take note of your child's reactions and perspectives, you will be better able to assess the kinds of ways you need to help him feel confident around others and accepting of them.