Children and Prejudice

@wenfri (1188)
Canada
June 7, 2007 1:06pm CST
Do you think young children are prejudice? I mean pre-schoolers? Is there any way we can teach them not to be? We all know kids can be cruel Simply by looking and listnening to others comment, and the way others react towards those od different backgrounds Young children develop "pre-prejudice": misconceptions, discomfort, fear, and rejection of differences that may develop into real prejudice if parents and teachers do not intervene. "Girls aren't strong." "Boys can't play house." "You're a baby in that wheelchair; you can't walk." "You can't play with us, only light-skinned kids can." Many adults find it hard to accept that 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds actually make these kinds of comments. They would prefer to believe that young children are blissfully unaware of the differences between people upon which prejudice and discrimination are based. But young children not only recognize differences, they also absorb values about which differences are positive and which are not Any thoughts, comments or well I would truly like to know how everyone feels Wendy
3 responses
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I believe that if a child is prejudice it is because they are taught this by their parents. When my kids were little, they would say something about a friend and I would say, which boy is that and they would say, the brown one. Young children do recognize the differences in people, but the way they respond to the differences are taught to them by their parents.
1 person likes this
@wenfri (1188)
• Canada
7 Jun 07
You are absolutley right sunshine Wonder if it would be different if the whole world was one colour LOL My kids at a young age had never seen a Negro before in there life and they do make comments. Next thing you knew they were best friends for the longest time I think it is great when they are taught that the colour of skin makes no difference who they are wendy
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I know that we have taught our children not to be prejudice as my sons best friend is that 'brown boy' from school:)
1 person likes this
@wenfri (1188)
• Canada
7 Jun 07
LOL Birds of feather huh Happy to hear that
• United States
7 Jun 07
I don't think children are born prejudice if that is what you mean. However, society consistently shows or references the differences in all of us- the sexes, races, etc. I think as long as your children have any outside interaction, nevermind the things they will learn from home, they will inherently learn these differences and respond to them. Children are like sponges- the soak up everything even when you don't realize that there is something for them to learn. I think the best that we can do as parents, is be that positive reinforcement in their lives and show them that our differences make us unique and should join us, not separate us. If we teach them respect for all individuals- no matter what gender, abilities, or race then they will turn out to be well-rounded adults.
1 person likes this
@wenfri (1188)
• Canada
7 Jun 07
True they aren't born prejudice and that is exactly what I mean It is up to the parents to teach them respect for others I agree. Positive reinforcement always helps Wendy
@pallidyne (858)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I truely believe that kids learn these things-- They are not born with them. And they are sponges, they pick things up from everywhere. It might be a neighbor, it might be a TV show (or commercial!), another kid, it might even be an inadvertant commment you said under your breath... But they learn it, they don't inherently have prejudice.
1 person likes this
@wenfri (1188)
• Canada
7 Jun 07
Yes I do agree that they are sponges and absorb the good with the bad Shame we couldn't teach the whole world not to be prejudice Would end all the problems we have world wide Wendy