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Talking About Differences

Know how to respond when your child poses tough questions about people who aren't like him.
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Logic and Reasoning
Attention and Focus
Critical Thinking
Social Skills

Young children often notice differences in others and express their observations as comments and questions. To support their natural curiosity, it's important to respond with a matter-of-fact tone. If you're stumped, say, "That's a good question! I'm going to think about that and come back to you with an answer." Below are some common questions children ask, with some suggested responses.

You can't be a nurse [to a male nurse] or You can't do that because you're a girl.
Boys and girls can do many different things and still be a girl or a boy.

Why is that man brown?
People have different skin colors. Let's look around. People are different in many ways. We have different colored eyes and different colored hair.

That person talks funny.
People speak in different ways. We each speak the way our families speak. How you talk sounds different to them.

"Why is he wearing that hat? He looks funny."
"People dress in different ways. The way we dress may look funny to them. We don't like people to laugh at how we dress and they don't like us to laugh at how they dress."

Why is she fat?
People come in different sizes and it's okay to be different sizes.

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