Emotional Care, Equity


Equity, different from equality (everyone gets the same thing), focuses on everyone getting what they need. Children should experience equity in their surroundings, and the absence of equity in school can make meeting academic and social expectations a challenge.  

Fair Versus Unfair 

Parents and caregivers can help our children understand how equity feels by explaining the difference between needs (essential) and wants (additional) and asking how you would know if your child did or did not have needs met. Because news and events pop into our screens in real-time, your child may have questions about equity and inequities.  In this article on how to discuss weighty topics, experts offer suggestions and tips. 

Learning Together

Many of us did not grow up discussing equity and inequities, therefore we may have to develop these skills at the same time as our child.  If this is true for you and depending on your comfort level, you might share with your child that you are learning as well, and that you might make mistakes.  Have a discussion about how we support others when mistakes are made.  Tips for conversations about difficult topics include: using one sentence (see video on strategies for talking about equity for more information), focusing on facts, asking for questions and feelings and being willing to learn together. 

Small Steps, Big Impact

  • Clarify your family values and share them with your child. Articulate your expectations regarding equity and inequity.  
  • Be aware of where you are in your learning about the topic at hand.
  • Listen to your child, specifically focusing on when they experience, see or are concerned about inequities.
  • Take time. Telling your child you need time to reflect or get more information is a powerful message about being deliberative and thoughtful.  

Parent Tips for Discussing Equity

  • Use facts.
  • Understand if a child is asking a question of if they are ready for an answer.
  • Use age-appropriate language.
  • Create opportunities to ask questions.
  • Focus on getting what is needed, even if it is not always what is wanted.

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