Let's discuss how diversity plays a role in your parenting and child's upbringing.
Our value system is the driving force that determines what's important to us and influences the decisions we make on a daily basis.
The value of appreciating and valuing diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of today's society in attempts to break down barriers especially within the BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and People with Disabilities communities.
As parents, I encourage you to reflect on what diversity means to you. How does your definition of diversity influence the way you raise your child?
Did you grow up in a diverse family or live in a diverse community? Do you feel represented at your place of employment? Does your child feel represented in their school? Do you feel you receive adequate health services catered to your needs based on your demographics and culture? Does your child feel connected to their school counselor or teacher(s)?
Often times children struggle to build a trusting relationship with others because they feel misunderstood. This impacts their ability to feel safe and vulnerable to express themselves.
How can we raise a generation of open minded children? First we need to take a look within ourselves and ask if we are pushing any biases onto our children and reflect on where those prejudices and biases stem from. How are my thoughts and beliefs influencing the way my child builds relationships with others? Is this a barrier within our family dynamic that needs to be addressed?
Below are a few suggestions I would like you to consider doing with your child in an effort to strengthen your family dynamic while promoting diversity in your lives.
Tip #1 - Discover New York
There are many cultural museums, exhibits, and events taking place in NYC.
The New York Public Library is permitting free admission to local museums and attractions using their Culture Pass once you have a library card.
To reserve a Culture Pass please visit the following link: Culture Pass - Login (quipugroup.net)
If you do not own a New York Library Card, please register for one by visiting the following link: Library Card Application Form | NYPL
The platform Eventbrite allows you to search up events based on a category of your choice such as music, performing & visual arts, health, sports & fitness etc. by your preferred location and date range. Eventbrite - Discover Great Events or Create Your Own & Sell Tickets
The 2023 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival will be taking place at Flushing Meadows Park (Queens) on Saturday, 08/12 and Sunday, 08/13. Please visit their website for a detailed scheduling program: Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (hkdbf-ny.org)
Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival will be held at Archie Spigner Park (Queens) on Saturday, 08/12 from 12-8 pm. For more information visit: Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival 2023 Tickets, Sat, Aug 12, 2023 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite
Japan Village is hosting a Japanese Summer Festival on Saturday, 08/26 at 934 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. For more information visit: 2023 Japanese Summer Family Festival Tickets, Sat, Aug 26, 2023 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite
CAMBA is hosting a Queer Labor Day Celebration on Thursday, 08/31 at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center. For more information visit: Queer Labor Day Celebration Tickets, Thu, Aug 31, 2023 at 5:00 PM | Eventbrite
The West Indian American Day Carnival Assocation (WIADCA) will be hosting the NY Junior Carnival on Saturday, 09/02 at the Brooklyn Museum. New York Junior Carnival 2023 Tickets, Sat, Sep 2, 2023 at 8:00 AM | Eventbrite
Later in the evening, they will be hosting the Brooklyn Carnival Panorama 2023 at the Brooklyn Museum as well. New York Carnival Panorama 2023 Tickets, Sat, Sep 2, 2023 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite
Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JCAL) will be hosting a free 3-day Dance Festival from September 22nd through September 24th. For more information visit: JCAL | Making Moves Dance Festival 2023
Tip #2 - Share a Meal
Expand your palette and visit a restaurant from a different culture to experience their cuisine. If you were to travel outside of the country, you would have to immerse yourself into their culture which includes trying their food. Lucky for us, New York is a melting pot and foodie state.
Fun Fact: Restaurant Week in NYC ends on 08/20/23. Click the link to see what restaurants are participating near you: NYC Restaurant Week® | Your NYC Tourism Guide
Tip #3 - Family Trips
Family Trips are a great time for bonding. When selecting your destination for your next family trip, do some research together on their history, local dishes, unique landmarks, cultural dances etc.
Fun Fact: Several countries celebrate Independence Day in the month of August such as Bolivia, Jamaica, Ecuador, Pakistan, India, Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago.
International Day of the World's Indigenous People is also celebrated in August.
Tip #4 - Having Difficult Conversations
It's important to discuss with your child that they will meet people who are not as open-minded as them. Discussing the possibility of experiencing discrimination and racism may be an uncomfortable discussion to have, however it is necessary. Practice role-playing possible scenarios in efforts to better prepare your child. It's important for your child to not react to one's ignorance in a way that escalates the situation as their safety comes first.
Ensure you are promoting self-love and practicing positive affirmations with your child. When one is grounded in self-love, another person's view will not matter.
Tip #5 - Promote Openness
Mirroring openness with your child is very important as children mimic what they see within their home environment.
If you and your partner have a disagreement, and your child sees this- how would you like them to view their parents handling conflict of difference of opinions? What they see will translate to how they interact with others when solving conflict.
Before you respond, reflect if your response is going to be interpreted as judgmental or genuine. Use "I Statements" to express how you feel without attacking the other person.
Learn to be empathic and understanding of how things impact others and welcome an open dialogue. Creating a safe space creates a stronger bond between you and your child.
Reflect On The Quote:
"Strength lies in differences, not in similarities." - Stephen R. Covey
“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” ― Mahatma Gandhi