Helping Children Thrive in a Diverse Society
Here in California, we live in a very diverse society. According to Wikipedia, “No single racial or ethnic group forms a majority of California’s population, making the state a minority-majority state.” Our children attend school with children who are racially and ethnically differently than they are. This creates an opportunity for an enriching experience for our children.
How can parents help their children thrive in this diverse society?
- Get to know your children’s friends and especially their friend’s parents. Sometimes the primary language spoken may be different than yours, but friendliness and mutual love for your children will surpass the language barrier.
- Expose your children to stores, food and events that represent the various ethnic groups living in your community. As a family, embrace your whole community, even the parts that represent cultures that are different than your ethnic background.
- At school or community gatherings, be an example to your children by introducing yourself and socializing with people who are different than you are.
- Read with your children about the history and backgrounds of the various immigrant groups in your community.
- Teach your children to recognize the common humanity in all people.
I was recently introduced to a wonderful children’s book called What Does It Mean To Be Global? by Rana DiOrio. It expands children’s sense of how they can live and what they can do to be part of a diverse world. I highly recommend books like these that expand our children’s view of who they can be, and that honor diversity.
It is never too early to learn what it means to be a global citizen. We can prepare our children for the ever evolving society they will eventually be part of building. Let us begin by embracing our diverse communities, so that our children will be comfortable with the diversity that surrounds them.
With love and affection,
Copyright (c) 2017 by GenParenting
Rosemarie Pérez has worked with English learners and their families in public education for more than twenty years. She has served as a bilingual teacher, professional developer, and district administrator. Administrative roles included serving as the Director of English Learners for an elementary school district and as a Coordinator of Reading and Language for the San Mateo County Office of Education. Rosemarie continues to work with families as she leads the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Parent Engagement Initiative during the past three years. Ms. Pérez provides expert guidance to teachers, school site staff, and school administrators in creating culturally sensitive parent training modules and academic curricular units. She facilitates parent education and Common Core Standards workshops. Engaged parents are further trained to become parent leaders and advocates. Rosemarie is the mother of five adult children and three grandchildren.