How Does Your Family Explain Differences and Approach Diversity?

As a part of the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama I wrote a post that is being featured on Natural Parents Network. Apparently it’s my week over there! This month the carnival participants have spoken up about how they discuss complex topics with their children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants. Below is a little teaser and you can find my entire post here: How Does Your Family Explain Differences and Approach Diversity?
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diversity quilt
Pointing out different colors – red, black, blue, yellow.
Talking about different people – grandma, postman, doctor, stranger.
Explaining about different cultures – Eskimos, Southerners, Europeans, Baptists.
These are the activities that fill my day and sometimes, many times, I wonder if I am doing a good enough job. How do you best teach your child to identify and appreciate differences without teaching them to judge based on those differences?
Read the rest of How Does Your Family Explain Differences and Approach Diversity? at Natural Parents Network.
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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon March 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • A Difficult Conversation — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is keeping her mouth shut about a difficult topic.
  • Discussing Sexuality and Objectification With Your Child — At Authentic Parenting, Laura is puzzled at how to discuss sexuality and objectification with her 4-year-old.
  • Tough Conversations — Kadiera at Our Little Acorn knows there are difficult topics to work through with her children in the future, but right now, every conversation is a challenge with a nonverbal child.
  • Real Talk — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama explains why there are no conversation topics that are off limits with her daughter, and how she ensures that tough conversations are approached in a developmentally appropriate manner.
  • From blow jobs to boob jobs and lots of sex inbetweenMrs Green talks candidly about boob jobs and blow jobs…
  • When Together Doesn’t Work — Ashley at Domestic Chaos discusses the various conversations her family has had in the early stages of separation.
  • Talking To Children About Death — Luschka at Diary of a First Child is currently dealing with the terminal illness of her mother. In this post she shares how she’s explained it to her toddler, and some of the things she’s learned along the way.
  • Teaching 9-1-1 To Kids — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling talks about the importance of using practical, age-appropriate emergency scenarios as a springboard for 9-1-1 conversations.
  • Preschool Peer PressureLactating Girl struggles to explain to her preschooler why friends sometimes aren’t so friendly.
  • Frank Talk — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis unpacks a few conversations about sexuality that she’s had with her 2-year-old daughter, and her motivation for having so many frank discussions.
  • When simple becomes tough — A natural mum manages oppositional defiance in a toddler at Ursula Ciller’s Blog.
  • How Babies are Born: a conversation with my daughter — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger tries to expand her daughter’s horizons while treading lightly through the waters of pre-K social order.
  • Difficult Questions & Lies: 4 Reasons to Tell The Truth — Ariadne of Positive Parenting Connection shares the potential impact that telling lies instead of taking the time to answer difficult questions can have on the parent-child relationship.
  • Parenting Challenges–when someone dies — Survivor at Surviving Mexico writes about talking to her child about death and the cultural challenges involved in living in a predominantly Catholic nation.
  • Daddy Died — Breaking the news to your children that their father passed away is tough. Erica at ChildOrganics shares her story.
  • Opennesssustainablemum prepares herself for the day when she has to tell her children that a close relative has died.
  • Embracing Individuality — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy addressed a difficult question in public with directness and honesty.
  • Making the scary or different okay — Although she tries to listen more than she talks about tough topics, Jessica Claire of Crunchy-Chewy Mama also values discussing them with her children to soften the blow they might cause when they hit closer to home.
  • Talking to My Child About Going Gluten Free — When Dionna at Code Name: Mama concluded that her family would benefit from eliminating gluten from their diet, she came up with a plan to persuade her gluten-loving son to find peace with the change. This is how they turned the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle into an adventure rather than a hardship.
  • How Does Your Family Explain Differences and Approach Diversity? — How do you and your family approach diversity? Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen shares her thoughts at Natural Parents Network and would like to hear from readers.
  • Discussing Difficult Topics with Kids: What’s Worked for Me — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares parenting practices that enabled discussions of difficult topics with her (now-adult) children to be positive experiences.
  • Tough Conversations — Get some pointers from Jorje of Momma Jorje on important factors to keep in mind when broaching tough topics with kids.
  • Protect your kids from sneaky people — Lauren at Hobo Mama has cautioned her son against trusting people who’d want to hurt him — and hopes the lessons have sunk in.
  • Mommy, What Does the Bible Say? — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work works through how to answer a question from her 4-year-old that doesn’t have a simple answer.
  • When All You Want for Them is Love: Adoption, Abandonment, and Honoring the Truth — Melissa at White Noise talks about balancing truth and love when telling her son his adoption story.

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  1. Jessica says

    I'd be interested to hear what it sounds like when you "talk about," "point out" and "explain." Do you do the talking, or do the kids? Do you consider gender? I try to use neutral terms like "mail carrier" and "police officer" since they could be men or women.

  2. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Right now I do most of the talking. Jemma has started repeating things when we see things a second time though. I'll pretty much just speak whatever I see – "Hey, there is a postman, he/she brings our mail" or "Look at those friends, they are holding hands/sharing/eating" or "Do you see that brown dog, he's walks on four legs and you and I walk on two" or "Do you see her pretty black hair?" I'm sure as she gets older she'll respond more with questions which will further spur our conversations.

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  4. Anonymous says

    I've been a long time reader and love your blog and approach to parenting. I just wanted to point out that if you're going to teach about difference, I would use non offensive terms from the perspective of the group of people you're discussing (i.e. Inuit instead of Eskimo; there may be a few places in Europe where it's used, but for the most part it's like calling an Aboriginal person an Indian).

  5. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Thank you so much for pointing this out! I'm afraid to say I didn't even think about/catch that and I feel awful :(

  6. anonymous says

    Sorry, there are also the Yupik and Inupiat, in addition to the Inuit, and I may have forgotten others. Don't feel bad! I hope you have a good day:)

  7. says

    My youngest is almost three and has been recently exploring opposites and differences, or as I often like to call them, variations. We also talk about how everyone is unique and that is what makes life so interesting.

  8. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Ooo, I really like "variations". I hadn't thought of adding that in to the mix!