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Formation of stereotypes in children

Formation of stereotypes in children


The formation of stereotypes in children begins to take shape since they were young. The differences in the society we live in are multiple. They start from age, religion, physical appearance, mental abilities, sexual orientation, income, social status and the list can continue.

The stereotype is closely related to prejudice and discrimination. Here are the most common ways in which the child forms stereotypes in the environment in which he lives!

What is the stereotype?

Stereotypes are actually preconceived ideas. They represent a fixed opinion that one can form about something or someone else without knowing much about it. These ideas formed are unfair and unjustified and are constructed from an error of knowledge and from a generalization that appears about them.

Stereotype formation in children, where does it come from?

No matter how tolerant you try to raise a child, he will hit at such times as he experiences them. In front of some it will resist, but in front of others it will give up without realizing or because it is influenced. Here are the environments from which children learn the most common prejudices:

  • from the TV;

  • from video games;

  • from the Internet;

  • from school;

  • from family;

  • from advertisements;

  • from books, etc.

At what age do stereotypes begin to appear in children?

Child development experts have long studied how it works and what determines the process by which one child rejects another child. Instead of seeing this from a behavioral or social point of view, they considered the reasons for gender, race or ethnicity for which they are ignored.

Children become aware of belonging to a group during the preschool period. Only then do they begin to realize how a group works, what the rules are, and the fact that they are part of it.

How do stereotypes form in children?

Initially, children begin to become gender conscious and establish their sexual identity. Thus they manage to differentiate between women and men. Then, preschoolers manage to understand that people have different skin colors, but do not use this to classify them according to their activities and interests. If you ask such a child "what do you like about white children?", They will not be able to answer.

The stereotypes of race and ethnicity begin to form in children in the first years of school. As they get older, they start to form cultural stereotypes. They learn how group dynamics work and use such barriers to create reasons for exclusion from the group. For example, you can hear them saying "he cannot be part of our group of friends because he does not like what we like".

Children are not born with stereotypes, nor do they learn as if they were learning poetry. They are born of their interaction with people.

How do you help your child fight against stereotypes?

  • encourages the social diversity of the child; support him in trying to choose friends with children of different races and ethnicities;

  • talk to him about the fact that there are more cultures;

  • communicates with the child about his own self-image, how he sees himself; help him understand the difference between feeling good in your own skin and having a good image about yourself and feeling superior to others; encourage him to keep a journal, take pictures or write stories to express his individuality;

  • talk to him and teach him about the multiple trades that exist and how important each one is in its own way; you can use stories or movies to show them that any kind of work is noble, if honest;

  • the child can create frustrations and complex images just by watching TV advertisements that promote physical beauty ideals; he can form stereotypes about ugly people; therefore, it is essential to talk to them about how the ads are misleading the world and that the ideal beauty does not exist, explaining how the ads are made and that the people in magazines and on TV do not look that way in reality;

  • do not label him or others around you - never tell him that he is ugly, stupid or in any other way, nor make any reference to the race of a friend of the family or to the ethnicity he is part of as if it were something bad or inferior - the child will take over your behavior model;

  • Last but not least, talk to your child about stereotypes, about unfair inequalities between people who are propagating in the world.

Tags Stereotypes for children