This is related to Developmental Asset #26: Caring and #34: Cultural Competence. Canada is a very multicultural country, and it’s important to expose our children to different cultures so that they grow up comfortable with diversity. It’s also important to model respectful behaviour towards all people, regardless of their outward physical characteristics or background. According to Search Institute, young people are more likely to do well if they place high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty. Here are a few ways you can take action.
- Is there a cause that is of particular importance to your teen? What are some reasonable, achievable ways that your teen can support that cause? Maybe they’d like to collect spare change in a jar to donate to a charitable organization. Maybe there’s a fundraiser, such as a charity walkathon, that you could do together as a family. It’s a good idea to let your teen take the lead when deciding which cause to support and how. This makes their charitable work more meaningful for them personally.
- If your teen helps out without being asked, or performs an act of kindness, acknowledge and praise them for it.
- As always, be mindful of what you say and do around your children, who are learning from you every moment. If you want your children to be sensitive, tolerant, and accepting, begin by nurturing those qualities in your own thoughts, words, and deeds.
- Watch out for stereotypes in TV and other media, and try to recognize opportunities to discuss diversity and prejudice with your kids.
RECOMMENDED READING: Make a World of Difference: 50 Asset-Building Activities to Help Teens Explore Diversity by Dawn C. Oparah
Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, known as Developmental Assets, that help adolescents to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Visit us here every Wednesday to read about different ways that you, your family, and your community can take action to help equip our young people develop resilience and achieve success in life.