Diversity has become somewhat of a buzzword. You hear it constantly, but it’s barely ever in the proper context. Many groups use it vaguely, but diversity is significant, fostering better connections and growth and leading to successful lives. The best way to ensure your kid understands the significance of diversity is by encouraging them to be friends with children different than them. Here’s why it is essential to have a diverse friend group from a young age:

Difference is a Strength

We have a tendency to view differences in a negative light. Our brains are wired to be organized, and it subconsciously organizes those around us into groups based on certain factors. This is why as children grow older, they split into groups. Teaching your kid that it’s not only nice but also appreciated to look beyond their similar group of friends helps cultivate an environment of acceptance. Having diverse friends from a younger age helps children learn that differences are not inherently a negative trait as they once thought.

Instills Empathy

Practicing is one of the most wonderful and challenging things humans can do. Sympathy is different from empathy and refers to feeling sorry for someone in times of misfortune and trying to understand what they’re going through and be there for them. Sympathy is significant, but empathy goes beyond it.

Empathy is the ability to share the feelings of others rather than simply feeling pity for them. Empathy means caring for people despite how they look and where they are from. Befriending people from different cultures and backgrounds is imperative in learning this essential trait, and when children make diverse friends, it fosters empathy. This means they don’t have to work half as much to feel for others intentionally; they genuinely care because they understand.

Teaches Biases and Stereotypes

Stereotypes and biases are a bitter reality of life and are complex, complicated, and frustrating to deal with. When your child attends preschool and daycare and meets a diverse group of people, it gives you the golden opportunity to discuss the set biases and stereotypes and explain why they’re false and hurtful to those around us.

Starting this conversation isn’t always easy, and there will be questions, maybe many of them. But despite being difficult to talk about, it is imperative for your child’s awareness. It can make it easier for your kid to be inclusive when choosing friends because now they can understand things better and sift truth from all the false narratives surrounding them.

Encourages Respect and Curiosity

We all have been through embarrassing situations throughout childhood and most definitely asked innocent and maybe inappropriate questions. Children are innately curious, so meeting someone different than them can spark curiosity, and they may ask questions that may seem inappropriate at times. It’s okay; they’re just curious and not trying to be disrespectful. Your child observing such differences gives you the window to have this must-have conversation and explain things. This is also the chance to tell them how to respect and value such differences and not perceive them as negative.

There are many positive impacts of having diverse friends. It expands your child’s horizons, gives them multiple perspectives, and promotes mutual respect and affection. All traits that the world needs right now. In a recent release by Thomas Stevens, Fluffy has also pondered the importance and beauty of diversity. Visit the website and get your copy today.