My friend Ashley is black and the mother of two multi-racial girls. My friend Amy has a daughter with limb differences (which you can read about in her post here). Ashley wrote a post recently that I really love after she spent some kind with a child psychologist. One thing I keep thinking about from the post is how important it is for children to have both windows and mirrors. “Windows to see through to worlds that are different than theirs and mirrors to see reflections of themselves.” Such a beautiful idea. I found a great article about the windows and mirrors concept right here.
The best place to start is their own childlike curiosity. Ashley said, “I worked with a child psychologist when Zoey was two. At this age children were telling her skin was different and began giving her negative feelings about brown skin. The child psychologist pointed out that color is the best place to start with all young children. The biggest change we made was starting to point out and celebrate differences everywhere we went. Making it not a taboo topic, but getting straight to the point in the way the children see the world.”
Together, we’ve put together a list of 12 books we love that celebrate diversity and differences. A list of books that can start great conversations about race, physical differences, learning and gender differences, family structure, etc. This is a great start to important conversations. Exposure and modeling are next, and I’m thinking a lot about that too!
Here are some books that help in that celebration of difference: