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June 3, 2021

Teaching Diversity During Pride Month

June is Pride Month and while we honor and respect members of the LGBTQ+ community year-round, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate and learn from them. Here at LeafSpring Schools, one of our core values is Diversity. Valuing diversity also means we respect and appreciate ALL of our differences.

Your child may have questions about Pride Month, their identity, other families in your community, or just things they’ve seen that are different than what they’ve experienced. That’s normal and developmentally appropriate. “Every day we meet people different from ourselves. Promoting an attitude of acceptance supports a positive environment for everyone to be who they are.” – Kirsten, Children’s Library Lady.

We have compiled some resources to help you figure out the best way for your family to address questions or bring up important issues.

Talking to your young child about pride month: Children can surprise us with deep, but difficult questions. As challenging as it may be, it is important to answer LGBTQ+ questions with understanding and empathy, no matter your beliefs. Children’s Library Lady (whom we quote heavily in this post) has some tips and resources to consider as you determine the best way to approach this in your family.

Try to listen without judgment: As children naturally form their own selves and opinions, they may surprise you with their insights, questions, and opinions. Mashable has a great guide to approaching this, including listening without judgment.

Children’s books that emphasize diversity: We are fortunate to live in a time when children’s books centering on the LGBTQ+ experience are becoming more abundant. Below are a few of our favorite books that focus on diversity and inclusion in a broader sense.

  • Julian is a Mermaid – In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.
  • Julian at the Wedding – Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake.
  • Over the Shop – In this bustling wordless picture book, JonArno Lawson’s touching story and Qin Leng’s gentle illustrations capture all angles of the building’s transformation, as well as the evolving perspectives of the girl and her grandparent.
  • Big Bob Little Bob – Despite the fact that they share a name, Big Bob and Little Bob are different. Big Bob likes trucks and throwing balls and being loud. Little Bob likes dolls and jingling bracelets and being quiet. No matter what they do, they do not do it the same. Could they possibly be friends despite these differences?
  • Tango Makes Three – At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.
  • Red – Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries!

Know the history: If you’re unsure how to talk about Pride Month or LGBTQ+ issues with your child, consider taking time to relearn the history of Pride Month. Care.com has a great list of resources to make sure you are well informed before you talk to your children.