In Kids, Prejudice and God. I shared some ideas of things you can do to help your children love people the way God would want them to do – without prejudice. Although the best way to eliminate prejudice is for your children to seek to know those who are different and spending the time to find things in common. it’s not always possible.
At times, your children will have to learn about others through books. There are some people your children may not encounter until they are much older. Perhaps your family will be spending time in a culture very different from your own. Or maybe your child was exposed to someone who seemed very different and the situation didn’t allow enough time for your child to really get to know the other person. Books can help.
Don’t believe me? Remember reading The Diary of Anne Frank? Even though nothing in that book was familiar to me when I read it, I could identify with the feelings Anne was having as she wrote in her diary. That empathy can help your children be more willing to talk to similar people when they meet them later in life.
There are a lot of books your children could read. These are a few my daughter and I enjoyed at various ages. (Please note that some of these books are very detailed when describing environments or experiences the characters may have had. Some of this material may not be appropriate for younger or more immature young people. Please do your research and use your own judgment as to which books you wish your child to read.)
- I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond by Michael Oher
- Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin
- Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book by Celeste Shally
- Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants: A Story about Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children by Barbara Schnurbush
- Three Little Words: A Memoir (Foster Care) by Ashlee Rhodes
- In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir (P.S.) (leprosy and prisoners) by Neil White
- Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John
- The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
- Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying (and Other Stuff That Keeps You Down) (physical disabilities) by Nick Vujicic
- My Friend Has Down Syndrome (Let’s Talk About It Series) by Jennifer Moore Mallinos (haven’t been able to read this picture book personally)
Whether it’s by doing things together, having conversations or reading books, encourage your children to seek to really know others. Knowing others will help your children reflect God’s love to them by serving and sharing their faith with true empathy.