Racial Identity Essay

641 Words3 Pages
The development and knowledge of racial and ethnical backgrounds in children helps them in forming a self-identity and enables them to function in social atmospheres. Children need to know that everyone is not the same and at the end of the day we are not all treated equally. Society follows certain regulations and has developed expectations for what is considered acceptable. Children spend the majority of their time around their parents and starting at a young age parents instill different values that they feel are important including, gender, social etiquette, race, religion and social class. Parents lay the foundation of the knowledge of race and ethnics but the school environment, television, history books and society also influence children. In the reading several examples are presented to prove that young children recognize race and embrace their culture. Children just want to feel accepted and they love learning the unknown. Once children are placed in an environment amongst other children they can obviously observe differences in skin, eye and hair color but they are able to make a connection between what is valued and undesired. Preschools have a major influence on a child’s development and by surrounding a toddler amongst new children from different backgrounds on a regular basis exposes them early to the reality of the world. Different cultures, traditions and religion are practiced throughout a school year, which in turn teaches the children the background information behind each holiday. For example, in grade school I remember my peers having bar and bat mitzvahs and I always wanted to have one not realizing how much hard work was put in prior to the celebration. I had to ask one of my Jewish friends the background before I was able to truly understand what the celebration actually stood for. I was able to learn something new that probably would not
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