A viral video celebrating kids who don't see difference may be missing a larger point.

In a heartwarming video, pairs of young friends are asked to think on one question: "How are you different from each other?"

In the viral video from the BBC kids network CBeebies, the pairs of children usually have a very clear difference, be it height, race, disability, or gender.

But the elementary-age kids tended to focus on differences that were a bit more ... elementary.


What makes you two different from each other?

These children were asked how they were different from one another. Their responses might just bring a tear to your eye! đź’—(via CBeebies)

Posted by BBC Family & Education News on Sunday, June 18, 2017

Toe size, lettuce appreciation, position on the soccer field, and whether or not their homes had squirrels in the roof were all discussed by the BFFs.

It's a delightful, charming scene, but there's an unspoken message here that needs to be addressed.

Reading through the comments on the post, lots of readers applauded the children for not paying attention to their more obvious differences, like race, gender, or disability. "Why can't adults be like this? Why can't we all be like this?" one viewer wrote.

But that's just it: Children should be raised to recognize and celebrate the fundamental differences between people. And they can only learn that if we openly talk about them.

Image via Cbeebies/Facebook.

Whether their parents talk about it at home or not, kids notice race.

Their parents might assume that by not talking about race or difference, their children will grow up "colorblind" to the challenges of society. Not only is that view misguided and denies people their own identity, but usually the opposite happens. White children as young as 3 or 4 years old in the U.S., Europe, and Canada, already show a preference for other white children. Kids are curious and learning new things about the world around them, so they often draw their own conclusions about how things work. If race isn't talked about at home or at school, those assumptions (sometimes totally incorrect) can go unexamined for years.

Children at Scripps Ranch KinderCare in San Diego. Photo by Robert Benson/Getty Images for Knowledge Universe.

Parents raising children of color usually have these conversations, earlier and more often, simply as a matter of necessity. If we hope to encourage the next generation to be conscious of and thoughtful about difference, then more white families (and educators) need to start having these conversations. The same goes for all families when it comes to disability.

As early as 5 to 8 years old, children are old enough to learn and consider social issues and their implications.

The can understand that people of color and people with disabilities may be underrepresented in the books they read, the characters they watch on TV, or even in their classrooms at school. As parents, grandparents, and trusted adults in children's lives, it's important to model your own friendships with people different from you. Read books with characters of color, different types of families, and characters with disabilities. Don't shy away or shush children talking about differences. Help clarify their thoughts and assumptions.

Our differences make us strong. Our differences make us unique. And our differences make us beautiful.

But these differences in race, religion, ability, class, gender, and more must be acknowledged and celebrated with specificity and respect. (Even if that difference is liking lettuce.)

Image via Cbeebies/Facebook.

More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular