"Positive" Stereotypes

Not all stereotypes are negative — but they're still stereotypes, and should be countered whenever possible. Here's how to react when your child is faced with some of these positive stereotypes.

A child upset with positive stereotypes
Let's say you have a daughter, adopted from China. She's struggling with math, but she isn't getting the help she needs. What's up? It's possible that your daughter's teacher may have exaggerated expectations for her because of a positive stereotype. They may seem complimentary, but positive stereotypes — African-Americans are great athletes, Hispanics are fantastic dancers, Asians are good at math, and so on — can be as damaging as stereotypes that label groups lazy, stupid, loud, or aggressive. A ...

Our daughter, adopted from China, isn’t getting the help she needs in math class. What can we do?

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