Teaching Tolerance- Harmony in Difference
In our society, we are surrounded by differences in ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, disabilities and many more. We love to be surrounded by a multicultural society and this mostly depends on our own exposure and attitudes towards our interaction with different people.
We all want our kids to feel relaxed and open to learning from different cultures – new ideas and unique experiences. Our kids can potentially learn bundles from other cultures.
All individuals need to model and display tolerance in their every day actions and words to teach kids “respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human”. So we teach our children by example and provide them with opportunities to play and work with others.
Being tolerant towards people different from us doesn’t mean sacrificing your own heritage or beliefs. We can be proud and firmly stand by those beliefs whole heartedly while continuing to celebrate the differences of others.
Children closely watch and imitate their parents, even before they can speak. Kids will mirror the values and attitudes of those they love and look up to. The tolerance level that parents possess naturally teaches their kids the importance of the same.
Few tips for teaching tolerance to the children:
- Look at the way you treat and speak to others. Demonstrate respect for others and reflect on your own attitude regularly.
- Expect your kids to treat others with respect. You should certainly not accept disrespectful behaviour both inside and outside your home.
- Choose programs, movies, stories and games that show and value the differences in society. The media has a powerful ability to shape attitudes.
- Value the differences within your own family. Appreciate the qualities each member possesses regardless of differing styles, interests and abilities. Help your kids feel values for who they are.
- Foster self-esteem in your family. Teach your own family traditions to your kids and encourage pride. Kids who do feel good about themselves tend to be more courteous towards others as well.
“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”- Sitting Bull