Embracing diversity: Teaching children to focus on similarities, not differences

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The death of George Floyd has sparked a sensitive discussion on race in America. For parents, the topic can be even more difficult to navigate. But an event in Minot is helping parents explain the tough issues.

When major events create headlines and start a national discussion, kids will inevitably sense a change too and have questions of their own.

“Especially with our kids. They play together, they have fun together, and as they grow up, we want them to continue to build those relationships,” said community activist, Ernest Usher.

Usher says starting the conversation with your children about equality should start now.
He and the owner of Main Streets books teamed up to give parents advice on how to start the conversation.

“We didn’t have this when I was a kid. We didn’t have a chance to express how we feel, have conversations even with our kids. We all grew up in households where things just became understood, but that doesn’t mean that is the best practice we should have with our kids,” added Usher.

He explained to a group of parents, that we shouldn’t focus on the things that make us different, but the things we have in common. One mom says she has struggled with topics like this with her daughter in the past…but now knows how to approach it head-on.

“How to give them an understanding of that and the community. And as Minot grows, it’s becoming much more diverse,” said Elizabeth Wunderlich.

But it wasn’t only a lesson for parents…but children as well.

“I learned that I have some stuff in common with other children that I didn’t know I had in common with them. And I also learned that it’s ok to like the same things and it’s ok to be different,” said Caden Reid.

Usher says pointing out similarities, doesn’t mean you can’t focus on what still makes you different. But it shouldn’t ever stop new friendships from forming.

Here are a list of resources, to get the conversation started with your children:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/books-with-characters-of-color

Raising Equity

Talking to Kids about Racism, Violence and Protests

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