pc_teens_diversity

Social Competencies Teens Need (part 2)

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More on youth development and the 40 Developmental Assets needed by 12 to 18 year olds, as described by the Search Institute.

3) Cultural Competence: where teens have knowledge of and are comfortable with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
Pay attention to what you say and how you say it about people, the world, ideas and so on. Your kids are learning from you.

Teach your kids that everybody has personal values, even though others’ may be different from their own.

Attend cultural events and festivals in your community. If you don’t know of any, try asking a librarian or calling your local chamber of commerce.

When you watch television, see a movie, or play a video game with your children, talk about the subtle messages about diversity. Do all of the characters look, sound, or dress a certain way? Are there stereotypes that are reinforced or dispelled? What’s implied about the positive and negative aspects of certain characteristics?

Encourage your teens to have “multi-cultural” experiences by visiting museums, cultural festivals or centers, congregations, or other places where people gather who share a common culture different from your own.

Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.