Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Diversity, huh?

Welcome to the July 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning About Diversity

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they teach their children to embrace and respect the variety of people and cultures that surround us. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I've gone from no idea what to write for this month's theme to too many ideas to write on the theme! So here are some free flowing thoughts and ideas on Learning / Teaching Diversity:

  • I have always accepted people as they were, calling them by whatever name or gender they preferred. This includes my own children. Yes, I've been asked to call them by different names and gender.

  • I don't make big deal over people being different from us because in my mind... they're just people. In doing that, I haven't really made any fuss or drawn any attention to diversity.

  • I thought it was hilarious when my kid told me it was funny or silly to see two men kissing... since I had a husband and a wife a the time. It never seemed strange to see each of us hold hands or be generally affectionate.

  • We donate to those less (or even equally) fortunate than us. We also shop at thrift stores and accept donated items.

    truck full of donationsTruck loaded with donations to drop off.

  • I just feel like I should say "we have rich people over for play dates." I think that's just a silly statement, but I guess it has been true. We've gone to play dates in houses much larger and furniture much fancier and toy collections much larger than our own. That one might be the toughest to explain to the kids that it is different, but not necessarily better.

  • We recently moved into a new home in a neighborhood where we are a minority. We're not afraid to walk our streets or for our children to play with the neighbors. Although, I will admit: as a young Caucasian woman it has been a bit of a culture shock to be a minority in my home.

  • I encourage whatever interests my kids.

So... how do you teach your kids about diversity? I feel like pointing out diversity is kind of like not fully accepting it, if that makes sense? It isn't about what's different, its that we're all human beings. But, then again, I appreciate a diverse group of people from diverse backgrounds and diverse opinions. It seems to be the way to get the most diverse set of ideas or solutions!

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • A gift for my daugther — Amanda, a special education teacher for students with multiple exceptionalities, discusses at My Life in a Nutshell how she will enrich her daughter's life by educating her the amazing gifts her students will bring to the world.
  • The Beauty in Our Differences — Meegs at A New Day writes about her discussions with her daughter about how accepting ourselves and those around us, with all our beautiful differences and similarities, makes the world a better place.
  • Accepting Acceptance and Tolerating Tolerance — Destany at They Are All of Me examines the origins of and reasons behind present day social conformity.
  • Turning Japanese — Erin Yuki at And Now, for Something Completely Different shares how she teaches her kiddos about Japanese culture, and offers ideas about "semi immersion" language learning.
  • Celebrating Diversity at the International House Cottages — Mommy at Playing for Peace discovers the cultures of the world with her family at local cultural festivals
  • Learning About Diversity by Honoring Your Child’s Multiple Heritages — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at the importance of truly knowing your roots and heritage and how to help children honor their multiple heritages.
  • People. PEOPLE! — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is trying to teach her children to use language that reflects respect for others, even when their language doesn't seem to them to be disrespectful.
  • Call Me Clarice, I Don't Care - A True Message in Diversity — Lisa at The Squishable Baby knows that learning to understand others produces empathetic children and empathetic families.
  • Diversity of Families — Family can be much more then a blood relation. Jana at Jananas on why friends are so important for her little family of three.
  • Diverse Thoughts Tamed by Mutual Respect — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work thinks that diversity is indispensable to our vitality, but that all of our many differences require a different sort of perspective, one led by compassion and mutual respect.
  • Just Shut Up! — At Old New Legacy, Becky gives a few poignant examples in her life when listening, communication and friendship have helped her become more accepting of diversity.
  • The World is our Oyster — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot is thankful for the experiences that an expat lifestyle will provide for herself as well as for her children.
  • Children's black & white views (no pun intended … kind of) — Lauren at Hobo Mama wonders how to guide her kids past a childish me vs. them view of the world without shutting down useful conversation.
  • Raising White Kids in a Multicultural World — Leanna at All Done Monkey offers her two cents on how to raise white children to be self-confident, contributing members of a colorful world. Unity in diversity, anyone?
  • Ramadan Star and Moon Craft — Celebrate Ramadan with this star and moon craft from Stephanie at InCultureParent, made out of recycled materials, including your kid's art!
  • Race Matters: Discussing History, Discrimination, and Prejudice with Children — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy discusses how her family deals with the discrimination against others and how she and her husband are raising children who are making a difference.
  • The Difference is Me - Living as the Rainbow Generation — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, is used to being the odd-one-out, but walking an alternative path with children means digging deeper, answering lots of questions and opening to more love.
  • Differencessustainablemum discusses what she feels to be the important skills for embracing diversity in her family home.
  • My daughter will only know same-sex marriage as normal — Doña at Nurtured Mama realizes that the recent Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage will change the way she talks to her daughter about her own past.
  • Montessori-Inspired Respect for Diversity — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells about her multicultural family and shares Montessori-inspired ideas for encouraging respect for diversity.
  • EveryDay Diversity — Ana at Panda & Ananaso makes diversity a part of everyday living, focusing on raising of compassionate and respectful child.
  • Diversity as Part of Life — Even though Laura at Authentic Parenting thought she had diversity covered, she found out that some things are hard to control.
  • Inequity and Privilege — Jona is unpacking questions raised by a summit addressing inequity in breastfeeding support at Life, Intertwined.
  • 3 Ways to Teach Young Children About Diversity — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama recognizes her family's place of privilege and shares how she is teaching her little ones about diversity in their suburban community.
  • Teaching diversity: tales from public school — A former public high school teacher and current public school parent, Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama values living in a diverse community.
  • 30 Ideas to Encourage Learning about Diversity While Traveling — Traveling with kids can bring any subject alive. Dionna at Code Name: Mama has come up with a variety of ways you can incorporate diversity education into your family travels (regardless of whether you homeschool). From couch surfing to transformative reading, celebrate diversity on your next trip!
  • Diversity, huh? — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn't do anything BIG to teach about diversity; it's more about the little things.
  • Chosen and Loved — From Laura at Pug in the Kitchen: Color doesn't matter. Ethnicity doesn't matter. Love matters.
  • The One With The Bright Skin — Stefanie at Very Very Fine tries to recover from a graceless response to her son's apparent prejudice.

6 comments:

  1. Early on with our son we caught ourselves talking about things we would tease him about when he was older, mentioning his "girlfriend"... Except that we have no idea if he'll be into girls or boys or both or neither. We've had to deliberately change our language so that we allow him the space to be himself.

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  2. I like your free-flowing thoughts : ) Diversity is so broad, like you pointed out, covering race, ethnicity, minority status, affluence... It's great to just let it be part of a normal day - that's definitely the approach we take, too.

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    Replies
    1. Yay, I'm not the only one! I thought maybe I was just being lazy. hahaha

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  3. The city we were in before our current location was in an area where whites were the minority (not by much). I enjoyed it, and I wish we had the same diversity here!

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  4. I feel the same way as you about pointing out people's differences to my kids. Sometimes I have had to explain a point made by someone else (usually in books) because they've never thought about people's skin being a different color, or that some people live differently than others, or that some people believe some things about God or church and others believe other things, etc. But, for the most part, I don't go around pointing out who is better, worse, the same as, different than, bigger than, smaller than, etc, etc, other people. I am guessing that it is because of this that my children don't seem to single people out for their differences, unless they find something they feel is interesting about the difference. For instance, apparently people in wheelchairs are SUPER cool! :D

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  5. Interesting.

    My kids are always hyper aware of the differences - even from a very early age. I wonder if we are prone to it, because of our situation. I remember Ava saying at a very early age - we have brown skin and they have white skin.

    If we go over someone's house and it's super big and lavish, they will point it out.

    I've felt that I sort of had to stay ahead of it. We read all kinds of books and do activities representing a wide range of cultures. Our homeschool has a multiculutral component. I don't point out the differences, but encourage them to respect everyone even if their beliefs and traditions are not like ours. We just talk about things as they come up. It seems to have worked well that way.

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