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How can I help my child see commonalities in people?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Encourage your child to look for what he has in common with others instead of how he is different. Any time your child points out how she is different from someone, you might say. “There are lots of ways you are different from other people. Now let’s try to think of ways you are the same.” Help her see how similarities outweigh differences. Encourage your child to look for what he has in common with others instead of how he is different.

One fun way to foster tolerance in your child is to play as a family a simple game called “Alike and Different.” It begins by having family members form pairs. Tell each pair to think of five ways they are alike and five ways they are different. Answers can be written or drawn. “Alike” answers might be, for example, “We are African-American, Baptist, dark haired, brown eyed, sisters, and Williams family members.” “Different” answers could be, for example, “I like soccer, she likes tennis; I play saxophone, she plays violin; I am a fourth grader, she is a second grader; I am 4’5″, she is 4’2″.” In a larger family, have each twosome report their findings back to the family. From then on, any time your child points out how she is different from someone, you might say. “Yes, there are lots of ways you are different from other people. Now let’s try to think of ways you are the same.”

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.