How can I help my child to be more tolerant?

Michele Borba
The following steps can help you help your child to be more tolerant:

Confront your own prejudices. The first step to nurturing tolerance is to examine your own prejudices and reflect on how you might be projecting those ideas to your child.

Commit to raising a tolerant child. Parents who think through how they want their kids to turn out usually succeed simply because they planned their parenting efforts.

Help your child develop identify and pride in his culture. The starting place to help children understand diversity is for them to look at their own ancestry.

Refuse to allow discriminatory comments. When you hear prejudicial comments, verbalize your displeasure.

Embrace diversity. From a young age, expose your child to positive images-including toys, music, literature, videos, public role models, and examples from TV or newspaper reports-that represent a variety of ethnic groups.

Emphasize similarities. Encourage your child to look for what he has in common with others instead of how he is different.

Give straightforward, simple answers to questions about differences. Kids are naturally curious, so you should expect questions about differences.

Counter discriminatory beliefs. When you hear a child make a prejudicial comment, listen to find out why he feels the way he does.

Live your life as an example of tolerance. The best way for your child to learn tolerance is for him to watch and listen to your daily example.

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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.