I’ve never doubted the importance of showing human diversity in media, and after reading the chapter on discussing race with children in Nurture Shock, I’ve made it a point to actually point out diversity with Caroline. She and John just finished Meet Addie in the American Girl series. Addie is a young slave living just after the Emancipation Proclamation. I actually checked out Nurture Shock and this book at the same time, not even realizing what I’d learn from the race studies mentioned in the book about the importance of actually discussing, not ignoring, racial differences.
The thing is: kids notice. And they notice even more, I see now, when *they* are seeking to find someone portrayed who looks like they do. Now that Caroline has her glasses, she points out kids with glasses in picture books we read. I’m so glad those are there for her to see. Sometimes I’ve though it awkward to see books that seem to go overboard including diversity — kids of various racial backgrounds, kids with various disabilities. I’ve always known it was important, but I guess until it was my child looking for a child “like her,” it just didn’t mean as much. Yes, the middle class, Christian, white girl has had a pretty easy life.
And thus is the nature of humans.
If you haven’t taken a gander at Nurture Shock, do! I just discovered the writers’ blog at newsweek and will be following that now.