Five Ways To Help Children Be More Inclusive Of Other Kids

July 24, 2021

Quote of the Week

"Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization." -Mahatma Gandhi

Five Ways To Help Children Be More Inclusive Of Other Kids

In the midst of protests and political polarization, the last thing most parents want to do is enable our children to exclude marginalized classmates from their social circles. And yet, that's a usual scenario, even if it's unintentional. Children and teens form cliques with like-minded peers; this isn't a new phenomenon. Often, these groups exclude students of color, neurodivergent kids, trans kids, and kids with physical disabilities—a trend of exclusion that continues into adulthood. "Cliques are a developmental milestone in children, but that doesn't mean we have to accept them," says Silvia Pereira-Smith, M.D., assistant professor in developmental-behavioral pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. The reason? Homogeneous social circles aren't ideal for development. "We have to teach our children what's acceptable and help them grow beyond that to be more well-developed individuals. If we just let them sit in their cliques, they're not going to grow, and they're going to be stunted adults," she says. Read more in this week's featured article from Parents magazine.

Reading Corner

Title: Same, same but different
By: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
Ages: 4-7

Elliot lives in America, and Kailash lives in India. They are pen pals. By exchanging letters and pictures, they learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they are actually similar. Same, same. But different! Through an inviting point-of-view and colorful, vivid illustrations, this story shows how two boys living oceans apart can be the best of friends. --Publishers

Be the Change

Have your child write to a pen pal from another country (or different U.S. state) to learn about how we are all the same, but different. Check out some of these tips on how to model an inclusive lifestyle to set an example for your children.  Reflect on ways to broaden your family's social circle.