CHILDREN’S DEVELOPMENT – SELF-AWARENESS AND BIASES

Diversity and its role in the settling in process

In the first five years of life, a child’s brain develops faster than at any other time. Children who are in a kindergarten are at an age where experiences have a significant impact in laying the foundations for learning, behaviour, values and health.

As children become more aware of their own physical traits and characteristics, they become more aware of the differences between themselves and others as well. For example, differences between their own family members, between genders educators and children, the different family structures of the others in the group. Depending on these experiences, children can form both positive and negative ideas and attitudes about these differences, also known as biases

(Tomlins, 2018).


ADDRESSING BIASES
The main difficulty when addressing biases is that adults may be uncomfortable confronting prejudice. If a child makes a comment about a rainbow family, adults may not feel confident talking about this issue and as a result give vague response rather than openly discussing the situation.

Talking about differences and diversity is often a sensitive subject. Responding to prejudice or discriminatory attitudes and behaviours can be particularly confronting. However, it’s important for all children and families to deal with these issues together when they arise (tolerance, 2019).