"Children don't come with instructions, but they do come with open minds," writes Christopher Metzler, Ph.D., an authority on issues of diversity and inclusion. Young children tend to be naturally accepting of others but as they grow older, they become more aware of the differences of others---skin color, language, physical and mental abilities, etc. It is our responsibility to help young children see beyond differences in others and to recognize that we are all children of a loving, accepting Heavenly Father. We must encourage them to have compassion and love for all God’s children.
2 Samuel 7:28 Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy...
Psalms 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD.
Proverbs 28:25 A greedy man sites up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all you hear, and lean not on your own understanding.
Read Luke 5:27-32 and Luke 6:27-31. Share with your child how Jesus loved even the tax collectors who were thought to be bad people.
Read Luke 10:33-37. Share the story of the Good Samaritan.
Read Mark 10:46-52. Share about Bartimaeus' disability then have a discussion about persons with disabilities and how we should treat them.
God made people to be His friends.
Families work together.
Friends always care for each other.
The great work of parents and teachers working together is character building—seeking to restore the image of Christ in those placed under their care. All true education may be made to help in the development of a righteous character. The formation of character is the work of a lifetime, and it is for eternity. ~ Ellen G. White, Counsel to Parents, Teachers and Students, page 61
Young children tend to be naturally accepting of others but as they grow older, they become more aware of the differences. It is our responsibility to help young children see beyond differences in others and to recognize that we are all children of a loving, accepting Heavenly Father.
Have you ever been on a bridge? Well, Captain Hall was walking on a bridge when he saw his good friend Joseph Bates. “What’s the news?” he called out. Joseph Bates looked at him and said: “The news is that the seventh day is the Sabbath!” What a strange thing to say; and yet, Joseph Bates explained that Saturday is the Sabbath of the God of Heaven and it is a day that is to remind us of all the wonderful things God has created: Light, air, water, plants, food, stars, the moon and sun, fish, birds, animals, insects, bugs and… people. Yes, you and I were created by God! And Saturday is God’s Sabbath to help us remember how wonderful He is, how much He loves you and how well He takes care of you. No wonder Joseph Bates wanted to tell his friend about the Sabbath; that’s what friends do—they share good news with one another no matter how different we might be!
There are several activities that you can do:
- Partner with another early childhood program in another country.
- Set up a Video Conference Reading Hour where you have the teacher or the adult from the other location read a story about their culture to your children and you can do the same for them.
- Have a Partner Teddy Bear that spends a month with your children and then a month with your partner school. While the bear is with you. Have the children “write” a journal about how the bear spends his/her time and then when you send the bear, send the journal. When you receive the bear and the journal back, read all about the bears adventures in another country.
Set up one of your learning stations as an Exploration Station of another culture. Each month you can change the country you visit. In the exploration station you should have items related to that culture such as books, clothing, pictures/posters, music, musical instruments, etc.
- Give each child an orange or a lemon. Have them name their piece of fruit and describe it to you. Write down their descriptions. Then place all the oranges or lemons in a bag. Shake it up and then have each child reach into the bag to find “their” lemon or orange. Talk about how the lemons or oranges are alike. Then talk about those things that make them different. Share the analogy that we are all alike in many ways, but there are lots of things that make us unique. Share how God created each of us and we are all wonderfully and marvelously made!
Jesus is everyone’s Friend. “‘Whoever driks the water I give him will never thirst.'” (John 4:14, NIV)