Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Teaching Acceptance to Children: 5 Golden Rules


by: Dyan Eybergen

When children know about and are comfortable with people of different cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds, there are fewer incidences of intolerance and prejudice bullying. When children are taught acceptance they do not factor in exclusion criteria for being friends with someone of a different colour or religion; they are willing to accept people for who they are, not for how they appear.

  1. Set a good example. Many behaviors are learned. When it comes to cultural tolerance, you must always be mindful that children watch everything you do and say and when having to conduct themselves in similar situations, by default they will pattern the example you have provided them.
  2. Expose children to different cultures at an early age. The more children learn about different races and religions the more likely they are to accept them as part of their environment. Try borrowing books on different nationalities and cultures from the library, or have a night of the week where you have a dinner focusing on a particular culture and introduce them to the foods and customs of the country you choose.
  3. Teach the meaning of equality! Although we are all different, we are all human beings that deserve respect and kindness.
  4. Talk about prejudice; don’t pretend it doesn’t exist. Teach children to advocate against it.
  5. Listen well. When children have questions about those who are different from them, be armed with positive answers that will equip them with compassion and understanding. 



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