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Celebrating Black History and Diversity Builds Self-Esteem and Empathy

By Too Small to Fail

Celebrating Black History and Diversity Builds Self-Esteem and Empathy

Every February, teachers across America highlight the important contributions that African Americans have made to United States history, culture, and economy. Integral to these conversations is the importance of diversity, and teaching children to appreciate the differences—and commonalities—among their fellow human beings. But children can begin learning about diversity and celebrating African American history before they begin school. In fact, parents and caregivers can help children understand early on that appreciating the differences among us enriches all our lives.

Young children often pick up on the differences among human beings early on, but can learn that difference is a positive trait, rather than a negative one. A positive view of diversity is taught by building self-concept, or self-esteem, as well as empathy. When young children are taught to empathize with others—or, to put themselves in others’ shoes—they learn important social and emotional skills that benefit their relationships, communication skills and personal development. Additionally, children can develop positive self-esteem by learning to take pride in their accomplishments and talents, as well as those of their peers.

Parents and caregivers can use Black History Month as an opportunity to discuss difference and diversity in a positive way, and to encourage children to be proud of how they look and what they can achieve. By using stories from history, songs and dances that celebrate diversity and encourage self-esteem, parents can help ensure that their children will grow up with a positive outlook for life and respect for the world around them.

Resources for Sharing:

  • These articles, activities and even recipes from PBS will help parents and caregivers celebrate diversity with their children year round.
  • Books and activities for sharing with kids, from Reading Rockets.
  • Ideas for books, songs and art activities—as well as a personal story about celebrating diversity—from the Artful Parent blog.

GRAPHIC: Test your Black History skills with this infographic from You Parent! >>

Posted In: Newsletter