Five Ways To Help Children Be More Inclusive Of Other Kids

July 22, 2023

Quote of the Week

"We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color."-- Maya Angelou

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. [...] Fortunately, there are numerous ways in which caregivers can gently guide their kids toward inclusivity in social circles—work that has positive implications throughout the school years and into adulthood. Read more in this week's featured article from Parents magazine.

Reading Corner

Title: All Are Welcome
By: Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kauffman
Ages: 4-8

"Join the call for a better world with this New York Times bestselling picture book about a school where diversity and inclusion are celebrated. Discover a school where all young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated. Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be." --Publishers

Be the Change

Try any of these tips for raising inclusive kids and reflect on which practices resonate with you and your family. Have a family movie night that highlights the value of inclusivity.