Kids are always learning and exploring new things about themselves and the world around them. You might start to notice them becoming more aware and curious about how their bodies look different from others. Sometimes, they may look at, point, or ask questions about other people’s bodies and the way they look. This is the perfect time to start teaching children about diversity and all the incredible things that make them who they are. You can help the kids in your life learn that there is not one ‘ideal’ way to look or be. After all, everybody is unique and this is what makes humans and life so interesting and exciting.
Research suggests that kids as young as 3 may demonstrate negative attitudes towards other people based on looks, including things like their weight, skin color and physical abilities1,2. These negative attitudes and stereotypes about bodies can come from a range of influences, including: how their family and friends talk about bodies, and how bodies are portrayed in both adult and kids’ media.
Most parents and guardians want to encourage kids to respect diversity and teach them that it’s unkind to make comments or to stare or point at someone based on their appearance. And many want to celebrate diversity with them from an early age. The main hurdle is knowing how to do it.