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Dealing with Cultural Differences

Teach your child to celebrate being different from his friends

"The main thing to emphasize," says cultural anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, "is that in any group there are multiple differences. The 'majority' is itself diverse." Here's how you can turn "different" into "unique":

  • If your child encounters hostility about being different, let the adults know what's happening. Help kids understand that the problem lies not with them, but with the bully.
  • Celebrate who you are. Learn, talk, read. Two good books about ethnicity: The Only One Club, by Jane Naliboff (Flashlight Press); and Yoko, by Rosemary Wells (Hyperion).
  • To broaden kids' awareness of others, ask your child's teacher to host a Genealogy Day, so students can share their own family heritage.
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