June is Pride Month where the world celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning (LGBTQ) community. With many neighborhoods and communities showing their support this month, it’s common for children to start asking questions. This article will act as a guide on how parents can explain Pride Month to their young children.
Explaining Pride Month to Children: Why Parents Need to Start the Conversation
There is no better time to start talking to your children about LGBTQ+ than during Pride Month, which commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion and spreads awareness about the community and its history.
Children absorb everything they see and hear, so opening a child up to the experiences of Pride at a young age can help shape how they feel about the community. Being exposed to diversity and inclusion at an early age allows children to better carry that mindset throughout their lives. We’ve provided some tips from experts on how to explain pride month to your child.
5 Top Tips for Talking About LGBTQ Identity with Kids
Keep it Simple and Honest
Keeping your discussion simple using words and examples that your child can relate to can help them more easily grasp the history of LGBTQ+ and what it takes to be an ally.
Your child may have not yet asked you about the LGBTQ+ community, this does not necessarily mean they are not curious. Or you might have been surprised how early they did start asking questions. Either way, being able to express what it means to be accepting, loving, and encouraging at a young age is a great thing.
According to therapist Parker Morris, the best thing to do is to bring it up to your kids naturally. She uses the example of asking your kids if they know what the rainbow flags mean as you walk or drive past. This gives parents a great opportunity to open the conversation and to normalize conversations like this for the future.
Listen Without Judgement
Keeping things light and positive is important to encourage healthy conversation.
Lindsay Amer, an LGBTQ+ activist explains that “Kids really understand the idea of fairness. It’s something that’s very intrinsic to how they go about their lives day-to-day. And that also makes it a more active discussion. If something is unfair, we want to make it fair, right? So, you’re not concentrating on the act that is unfair but concentrating on how we can fix it.”
Promote Acceptance & Diversity
Setting the tone for allyship is a parent’s job, helping to promote a healthy relationship between their kids and the topic of acceptance and diversity. It is never too early to start the conversation and promote love and why it is so important to support the LGBTQ+ community. You do not need to be LBGTQ+ or even know someone who is to be able to positively and lovingly promote this mindset to your children.
Be Positive and Affirming
This can be a heavy topic for a child as the history of the LGBTQ+ community is faced with a lot of hatred and discrimination, and unfortunately, this negativity towards the community still exists today all over the world. So just remember to stay positive and meet your child where they’re at.
“I frame things in a positive light by talking about the LGBTQ+ community in the framework of resilience,” says Morris. “Despite constant setbacks, LGBTQ+ people have always worked hard to fight discrimination, be brave and be true to ourselves.”
Pride Activities for Kids
The conversation about Pride Month can be done in all types of ways! Here are the best at-home activities for kids to try when discussing Pride Month or sexual orientation:
- Pride reading recommendations for young children;
- LGBTQ+ themed movies for families;
- LGBTQ+ themed books for kids;
- Pride art ideas for kids;
- Queer Kid Stuff: Amer’s YouTube channel for kids;
- Amaze.org: Age-appropriate videos about sexual orientation;
- Virtual Family-friendly drag shows;
Along with different books and movies you can enjoy with your kids this month you can also make it crafty. Check out this list of Pride art for kids that can help encourage creativity, while opening up the opportunity for parents to explain Pride Month to their children.
For more information about New York Pride Month check out their official website.