How To Teach Your Kids About Tolerance
Teaching your kids about tolerance can be as easy as helping them make a piece of art, or as difficult as breaking down complex ideas into simple explanations. The capability to get along with others in a multicultural, diverse community is a life skill that should be taught from a very young age and developed throughout a child’s life. But it’s no secret: teaching a child about tolerance will involve tough questions and even tougher answers. The best thing you can do is keep things simple and interactive, and give your child time to fully understand the importance of being tolerant.
Every Lesson Starts With A Teacher
A lot of behaviours children learn are caught not taught. If your child sees you applying lipstick, chances are you’ll find them one day with pink smudges seemingly everywhere but their lips. Kids pick up their parents’ habits, so if your toddler sees you demonstrating tolerance they’ll likely pick that habit up too.
Tackle The Tough Questions
If you haven’t experienced it already you soon will: The dreaded inappropriate supermarket comments - children make observations, not judgements, so when your toddler makes a remark about a larger man, a tattoo-covered checkout girl or a wheelchair user take the opportunity to answer their question instead of telling them off. Remember the person your child has observed is just that - a person and all people are different and that’s a good thing! Here are 5 ways to handle those tricky situations.
Activities To Teach Tolerance
We know different kids have different learning styles, so engaging them in activities and art is a great way to make teaching kids about tolerance fun. Activities allow for self-expression, creativity and reflection. When teaching tolerance to children, awareness of self and others is crucial. A great starting point is to ask your child what makes them different to someone (perhaps a friend of theirs). Then, ask them what they have in common. Tolerance isn’t about everyone being the same, it’s about acknowledging and appreciating what makes us unique and different, and celebrating what connects us.
There's also a whole host of books that can help your child learn the values of tolerance. Until curriculums start teaching tolerance in schools, having something good to read can help make this value a topic of lifelong learning. Here are some great ones to look out for.
Do you know any great ways to teach tolerance to kids? Let us know in the comments!
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