Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Tips For Celebrating Pride With Kids (And Why It's Important!)

Learning about the Pride movement is important for kids for many reasons...

*it teaches them to be kind, accepting, and understanding towards people who are different from them.
*It helps them see that love comes in many forms and that everyone deserves respect and equality
*It can help them to become allies who stand up against bullying and support equal rights
*It helps kids understand their own identities better and feel more accepted

As well as this its also an important opportunity to learn about important activists in history who fought for LGBTQ+ rights. Teaching kids about Pride is an opportunity to create a world where love and acceptance are celebrated by all! If you agree that this should be something we're all aiming for, read on for my tips on how to teach kids about the history of the Pride movement and why it's important today....

How Did Pride Begin?

The LGBTQ Pride movement is a significant and empowering movement that celebrates the rights and diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals. It all began with a brave group of people who stood up for their rights and paved the way for acceptance and equality for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The history of the LGBTQ Pride movement dates back to the late 1960s. During this time, many LGBTQ individuals faced discrimination, prejudice, and even violence because of their identities. In June 1969, a crucial event called the Stonewall Uprising took place in New York City. The Stonewall Inn was a popular gay bar, and it was one of the few places where LGBTQ individuals could socialize without fear of persecution.

However, the police frequently raided gay bars like Stonewall and arrested the patrons, which led to anger and frustration within the LGBTQ community. On the night of June 28, 1969, when the police once again raided the Stonewall Inn, the patrons and other LGBTQ activists decided they had enough. They fought back against the police, sparking days of protests and demonstrations in the streets.

The Stonewall Uprising became a turning point in the LGBTQ rights movement. It inspired many LGBTQ individuals to come together, form organizations, and demand equal rights and recognition. The following year, in 1970, the first-ever Pride marches were held in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, marking the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

As time passed, the LGBTQ Pride movement gained momentum and spread across the world. People from different backgrounds joined the cause, advocating for equality, acceptance, and the right to love whomever they chose. The Pride movement also played a crucial role in raising awareness about LGBTQ issues, challenging stereotypes, and fostering understanding and empathy.

Over the years, significant progress has been made. Many countries have decriminalized homosexuality, and laws have been passed to protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination. LGBTQ characters and stories are increasingly represented in media, and more people are becoming allies, supporting the rights of their LGBTQ friends and family members.

Today, LGBTQ Pride is celebrated every year in the month of June, often referred to as "Pride Month." It is a time when LGBTQ individuals and their allies come together to commemorate the struggles of the past, campaign to reduce ongoing struggles around the world, celebrate their identities, and promote acceptance and love for all. Parades, parties, and various events are held worldwide, spreading the message of inclusivity and the importance of embracing diversity.

How To Teach Children About Pride?

Teaching children about the LGBTQ Pride movement is an important step in fostering understanding, empathy, and inclusivity. 

1. **Be Informed Yourself:**

   - Before discussing the topic with children, it is crucial to educate yourself about the history and significance of the LGBTQ Pride movement and being an ally to the LGBTQ community. Try to get to grips with inclusive language relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, and keep up to date with the ongoing fight for equal rights around the world.

2. **Choose Age-Appropriate Materials:**

   - Select books, videos, or articles that are suitable for your child's age and maturity level. Look for materials that present the information in a positive and inclusive way. There are some fantastic books that can be really helpful - We keep a regularly updated list of our favourite child-friendly LGBTQ books here

3. **Promote Open Communication:**

   - Create a safe space where your child feels comfortable asking questions. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings about the topic, and encourage questions in a non-judgemental way.

4. **Emphasize Respect and Kindness:**

   - Teach children to treat everyone with respect and kindness, regardless of their differences. Emphasize that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with dignity.

5. **Introduce LGBTQ Historical Figures:**

   - Highlight LGBTQ historical figures who made significant contributions to society. Show that LGBTQ individuals have been part of history and have made a positive impact. The Little People, Big Dreams book range are ideal for this.

6. **Explain the Concept of Pride:**

   - Simplify the concept of Pride and explain that it is a celebration of love, acceptance, and equality for all people, including those with different sexual orientations and gender identities.

7. **Use Stories of Acceptance:**

   - Share stories of acceptance and inclusion within families and communities. These stories can help children understand the importance of embracing diversity.

8. **Address Bullying and Stereotypes:**

   - Discuss the harmful effects of bullying and stereotypes. Teach children that it's not okay to make fun of or discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

9. **Avoid Stigmatizing Language:**

   - Be mindful of using stigmatizing language or making assumptions about people's identities. Teach children to use respectful language when discussing LGBTQ topics.

10. **Discuss LGBTQ Families:**

   - Introduce the concept of LGBTQ families to children. Explain that families come in different shapes and sizes, and what matters most is the love and support they provide. Try to provide reading materials and media that shows inclusion of diverse families regularly.

11. **Answer Questions Honestly:**

   - If your child asks questions about sexual orientation or gender identity, answer them honestly.

12. **Encourage Allyship:**

   - Teach children about the importance of being allies to their LGBTQ peers. Help them understand that supporting and standing up for others can make a positive difference.

13. **Celebrate LGBTQ History Month:**

   - Take part in LGBTQ History Month activities, highlighting important figures and events in LGBTQ history. Websites such as Twinkl offer some fantastic resources for this.

14. **Lead by Example:**

   - Model inclusive behaviour and language in your own interactions. Children often learn best by observing their caregivers, this is probably the single most important thing you can do.

Remember that teaching about the LGBTQ Pride movement should be an ongoing process. Be patient, and allow children to absorb the information at their own pace. Creating a compassionate and accepting environment will help children embrace diversity and contribute to building a more inclusive society.

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