People are not born intolerant. They learn this flaw, generally, from their parents. Remember that it depends on you whether your child will be interested in the world, will have an open mind, will agree to try new things, or whether you will bring up a stereotypical, intolerant and uneducated person. Children learn in two ways - imitate the reactions, behaviour and words of parents, and discussing and analysing reality with adults and their peers. Bien Magazine helps with this difficult topic.
Talk to your child about difficult issues
Children are very open and willing to explore the world. Hence – They will be intrigued by many issues that you may be reluctant to talk about. The child will be interested in war, violence, illness, disability or racism. Your role is to respond to their questions and to dispel doubts. One of the interesting ways to teach tolerance and understanding difficult issues, often dividing the society, is fantasising about different situations in the way of - "what would have been if" (but about this later). It is good to talk to your child about different situations that are amazing to them to break up social stereotypes together.
You need to respond to your child’s questions with calm, understanding and openness, who will be interested in why "this man has no legs" or "why that person is sleeping on the street". You cannot, as a parent, avoid difficult subjects or react with fear, anger or withdrawal. This threatens to bring up a person who is backward-thinking, living with many stereotypes and closed to the needs of others. So – an unhappy person.
Teach children the respect for others
You do not have to explain to a child what it means to respect another person. They will understand it by themselves, providing that you respect them. How do you do it? Treat what your child is saying with proper seriousness. Do not hurry them along, send to play somewhere else, do not ignore the problem and do not change the subject. It is important for your child to feel that their interests, problems and experiences are important to you. What you tell them counts for much less, actions speak louder than words.
Do not compare your child to other children. Also do not tell them they are the best, because it is not true. And this way you also compare! Try to talk to them sincerely, explain the world as far as you can.
Support your child's curiosity, do not criticise them for being interested in reality. For them everything around is astonishing. All the more what stands out. If they point out someone who seems different to them and ask where the difference comes from, do not attack the child, do not say it is rude. Explain to them the reason for the difference of the person. Immediately play the game - "what would have been if". Let the child imagine what it is like to be blind or morbidly obese, and thus arousing unhealthy interest. In this way you will build their sensitivity and teach the child empathy.
Explain what is wrong
Explain to your child, what is intolerance, stereotyping, racism - simple explanations will reach, even, a small child who will understand the problem well. Show them examples of behaviour that they must not tolerate or support. With an older child you can talk about their favourite heroes or fairy tales where the characters behave inappropriately.
But - surely you are not allowed to explain to the child that people are bad. Say that their behaviours are inappropriate.
Author: Bien Magazine