Family is the most basic element of self-identification for young children; it shapes and informs their sense of self and who they are in the world. It is important for students to see their families reflected in the world around them, while at the same time seeing the diversity of families that also exists in our communities.
- Open up discussions on family diversity in your school. Organize evening events to bring your school community together and involve more parents and guardians in your school.
- Show the film, What Do You Know? to help parents and guardians develop language to talk with their children about gay and lesbian topics, such as families with two dads. Or use it to begin discussion on how educators and families together can work to stop hurtful teasing and gay putdowns.
- Be prepared for teachable moments. Practice how you might answer students’ questions about family diversity or about LGBT people.
- Ensure that the educators and staff in your school or school district have the skills to interrupt hurtful behavior and to develop a welcoming school environment where students from all kinds of families can achieve. Contact a regional Welcoming Schools consultant about training.
- Lessons on families are common in the early grades. As children enter school, they may first experience diversity by noticing how their family is the same or different from other families.
- Check out our recommended books that feature all kinds of families as a way for students to see themselves reflected in the world and a way for students to see the diversity in the world around them.