Unique as gems: let's talk about diversity?

We all are different, but - there is always something that unites us. Today I want to discuss how we can explain this to our children and why it is important.

It is necessary to speak about diversity - as about something very important and valuable. People are different, with unique skin color, organization of the nervous system, with various capabilities. Tolerance is harmony in diversity. By "tolerance" I mean not only the acceptance of people who are different from us, but also the understanding that everyone has the right to make mistakes, the right to think differently and actually to be different. Tolerance is simply allowing others to be the one who they really are.

Why is it important?

Bullying among children and adolescents is a big problem of our time. Children sometimes use to assert themselves at the expense of others. Often the victims of bullying are those who are different from the majority. Society's imposed standards of how we should look, think and speak are the main reason for bullying. Teaching children tolerance is to expand the concept of normalcy. It is to show them how to accept people without anger and aggression, to ignore what they do not like, but what does not violate their boundaries. It will open up new opportunities for communication in the team and will very much broaden their horizons.

Here are some tips on how to teach children to accept diversity.

● We should start simply with the explanation that we all are unique. We should do it at an early age using simple sentences: someone likes ice cream, someone likes pizza, someone loves to play football, and someone else - to play the guitar. It is worth talking about these things especially when a child feels the need or asks you about someone’s differences. For example, a child sees that there are families with a father and a mother, and there are those that have only a mother or a mother and a grandmother. If a child asks, we tell him, "Families are different.’’ Do not forget to acquaint children with different cultures, religions, traditions.

● We should pay particular attention to self-acceptance. Only a person who fully respects his features, strengths, and weaknesses can accept the surrounding people. You need to show care, respect, and love to yourself - teach this your child.

● Try to provide your child with the experience of communicating with different groups of people. Travel, clubs, charity programs are always interesting and useful.

● Explain children we cannot tolerate the behavior of people who insult, disrespect, humiliate or beat someone. We can not allow disrespect for ourselves or support the humiliation of others.

Let’s always remember that only healthy society can grow up a worthy person. Our diversity is our strength, makes us special, incredible, exceptional and unique.

With love, Elizabeth