I grew up a small town in the Midwest. The quaint and charming town with Victorian houses and a long history provided a safe place to grow up in where kids could just be kids. But it lacked diversity. In my elementary school, my siblings and I represented the only Asians. By high school, the number of Asian families grew to about four. As such, my sweet hometown was not exactly a hot spot for teaching kids about diversity.
My parents, in addition to personally teaching us about our Chinese heritage, sent us to Chinese language school. Every Saturday, my mom drove us 45 minutes to the school. We were in classes for about four hours, then mom drove us straight to our piano teacher’s house nearby for our music lessons. By the time we got home, the day was basically over. It was a commitment, but that’s what my parents needed to do to expose us to other Chinese families and our culture.
Today, I’m living in Long Island in a quaint and charming town with colonial houses and a long history. There are some Asians here – not a lot, but at least there are about 25 members in our local Asian families Facebook group. To teach my children about their Chinese culture, I know I need to find resources and opportunities. My oldest daughter goes to Chinese School (the younger one isn’t old enough yet). I try to instill pride in them about their Chinese heritage. I’m fortunate that I’m within an hour driving distance to events and places that celebrate our culture.
All of this got me thinking about how to teach diversity to children in non-diverse areas. As such, I compiled a post that Multicultural Kid Blogs recently published. I provided tips that I found personally helpful when teaching diversity to my own kids. Here’s an excerpt:
“For parents striving to teach kids about diversity, the challenge lies for those living in non-diverse areas. It’s not like in New York City or Los Angeles where walking on the sidewalk can provide exposure to different races, languages, food, and culture. For those residing in non-diverse areas, parents need to make more of a focused effort to teach their kids about diversity. The tips below can help get parents and their kids started.”
If you have your own tips, please share them in the comments. Thanks!