Here is how it happens.
Margaret, age 3, sees another little girl in the park and begins to talk to herself:
“What language does that girl speak? Hebrew or Arabic? That’s OK. That’s OK she speak different language.”
(This year she’s interested in language differences; last year it was racial differences: “I like white people. I like brown people. I like all the people.”)
Hannah, age 5, talking with us about religious conversion:
Terence: “So Daddy was raised Catholic and then changed his mind. When you are a grown up, you can decide what religion you want to be also.”
Hannah: “I could decide to be Jewish.”
Terence: “Right, you could. Or you could decide to be Muslim. Or Hindu. Or whatever.”
Hannah: “No, not Muslim.”
Hannah: “Because I lived in Israel, and Israel was having a war with Muslim people, so I wouldn’t want to be that.”
Addition (after Terence’s comment): of course, we continued this conversation and asked Hannah a lot more questions. I was just startled that Hannah came to that conclusion after 6 weeks in this country. And she’s surrounded by peers from all backgrounds and religions, and she has us for parents. It really made me understand how perspectives get ingrained quickly.