My son is starting school soon and lately he’s been very curious an observant. He will ask questions and even make comments that may seem a bit personal to talk about in public but none the less I am open to discussing in the moment.
While he has yet to ask about the LGBT community I know the chances of his friends or classmates having a multicultural family with two moms or two dads is possible.
My husband and I have discussed how we hope our children will be identified as far as culture and race but we’ve never talked to them about how other families are unique too. We know that now is the time for us to discuss this topic with our kids but we understand that the timing for everyone is different. As parents we know when our kids are ready for certain sensitive topics.
We’ve found it to be very easy to share why some families have two moms/dads. Our world is changing and the proof is everywhere. This is why we knew it was important for our family to discuss LGBT Multicultural families.
Here are some tips for explaining multicultural families to your kids
- Use books and pictures- By visually seeing multicultural families my kids learned that we are all different in our own way and that is what makes us special.
- Watch show or movies- Seeing families and individuals like ourselves on screen in action is a great way to spark conversation. Shows like the new ABC Family series The Fosters, which stars a family with two moms, will create an organic way to engage in conversation about such sensitive topics including that of multicultural families in the LGBT families.
- Share the similarities- I like to share with the kids why we different but most importantly what makes us all the same. Play a game of similarities. You will see how great it is to share the similarities.
- Have a friend or family who is multicultural share insight- if you have a friend or family who is part of the LGBT community inviting them over and if the moment presents itself definitely have them join in the conversation.
- Be positive- Be positive when talking about a sensitive topic like Multicultural families. Share the good not what bad is being shared in the world.
- Be honest and open- Be open to questions your kids may ask. Always give an honest answer even if the answer is I am not sure or I don’t know.
- Express respect- Be respectful of others feelings Share with your kids that being unique isn’t always easy but we must have respect. It’s not OK to call names or talk about a situation if someone will feel uncomfortable.
- Set an example- Show your kids how being multicultural isn’t a bad thing. Don’t fall victim to making stereotypes or even calling names that may seem harmless. Your kids are always listening and watching.
How do you teach your kids about multicultural families?
Do you teach in the moment, prepare in advance or a little of both?
Read more of Ruby’s writing at Growing Up Blackxican