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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! 💗(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.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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