Teaching Diversity to Kids

teaching diversity cyril

Children need to enjoy, play and learn with other children from different backgrounds, cultures and abilities. To understand and embrace other cultures, backgrounds, genders, religions and abilities is key to their happiness. But how do we communicate diversity to children? Cathy Shiel is an actor and drama teacher and came up with a plan.



Put Down Your Phone!

put down your phone

New research undertaken by the company Startrite into internet usage by tweens was released this week. Their aim was to speak to the kids directly, without the influence of their parents, to find out how kids use the internet.

The survey of 698 children was conducted in primary schools in England, with 17 schools selected to give a good geographical spread.  Almost all of the children surveyed own some kind of digital device, and 45% of them said that their parents don’t set rules on how long they can use it.  20% of the children aged 7 – 8 years old use their devices more than 4 hours a day, and almost half admit to using their device in secret.



Bringing up a Child in a Non-Native Language


Is it possible to bring up a child speaking a language that is non-native to either parent?
The global population is becoming increasingly mobile, and it’s not unusual for a family to consist of parents speaking two languages, sometimes even living in a country where a third language is spoken. Sometimes it might even be the wish for a child to learn a third language, that the parents feel will be beneficial to their development and future career.
Let’s take an example – one parent is from Germany, the other parent from Venezuela. They meet and fall in love in Paris, but don’t speak each other’s language, so talk to each other in English, even though neither of them are native speakers. What language should they speak to their child? Or consider the case of a couple from Slovenia. Both are Slovenian, the native language of both is Slovenian, but one speaks English to a very high standard. They decide to bring up their child speaking English.
I spoke to Millie Slavidou, Jump! writer, linguist and mother of bilingual children to find out what she thinks about bringing up a child in a non-native language.



How to Model Gender Equality to Your Kids

model gender equality to your kids

I’d like to think of myself as a feminist. I try, in my day to day life, to espouse feminist principles: I teach my three year old son about enthusiastic consent, I challenge everyday sexism when I encounter it, I maybe probably definitely talk my husband’s ear off about the sexism in the world.

I do have one teeny tiny problem though – my husband and I are both horrible horrible gender stereotypes. He likes comic books and superheroes, cars and bikes, mechanics, woodwork, sports, STEM subjects and steak. I like knitting, baking, sewing, frilly clothes, makeup, arts, writing, babies. My husband goes out to work and I stay at home.

How do you model gender equality  to your kids, when you live a gender stereotype?