Your 5-year-old now
Five-year-olds understand relationships between people. They notice if someone's family is different from theirs. They also notice if someone is different, period. And they're not shy about asking why Sam has two moms or Lee has small eyes.
Don't shush or dismiss these observations. Grab the opportunity to offer more insight into his world, which is getting more diverse every day.
While your child used to be satisfied with superficial responses ("We're all the same inside"), he's now capable of understanding more complex answers. For example, if he's curious about skin color, you could talk about how people have different amounts of pigment in their skin. You don't need to overwhelm him with detail. Just take his questions seriously.
Children work out a lot of their confusion about the differences they see through play. Keep an ear out for pronouncements like "Moms don't have offices" or "Only Chinese people like fortune cookies." Fruitful conversations about acceptance and diversity are borne out of such moments.
Your life now
Your child learns hundreds of new words when you read aloud to him. Make reading an interactive activity by asking questions like these as you read.
- "What do you think will happen next?" Encourage him to predict what will occur on the next page.
- "What if...?" spin-offs. For example, "What if Franklin forgot his homework at school?"
- "Why do you think...?" Encourage your child to make his own interpretations. Why do you think the artist made the sky pink in this picture?
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