Children are born without biases about other people of any race, culture, gender, or disability. We sometimes wonder if we can raise children without prejudices just by leaving well enough alone and making sure not to pass on the negative attitudes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way; societies messages are too pervasive. As parents and teachers, we need to take positive action so our children grow up comfortable with who they are and respectful of others.
I work you to create a community that helps to counter societies messages with bias and build a “family “ that reflects the cultural background of all the children and families. To begin with we use books, dolls, and even pictures on the walls with attention to balance and showing children what they see little of elsewhere. For instance, we make a point of showing men and women of all ethnic backgrounds doing a variety of jobs, men as well as women doing household chores and spending time with children, and different kinds of families enjoying themselves.
Are we doing this to be politically correct? Not really. We are committed to helping children grow up confident in their own identity, respectful of other children and aware of the rich diversity in their community and the world. We can do this only by working closely with our families, hearing your perspectives, and finding out more about the cultural background that each child brings to our program.
Parents are even more important than teachers in children’s development of attitudes. If you have any questions about how our program is addressing the issues of bias and diversity or if you want to talk over issues that arise at home, please let us know what you’re thinking or wondering. Of course we are far from having all the answers. We want to hear what you’re thinking.
That is how we teach what love is in our program. We accept. We expose. We listen. We ask questions. We work to learn more about each other.