The Importance of Teaching Tolerance to Children

It's important that kids practice tolerance from an early age, as it will allow them to have better social relationships and personal growth. 
The Importance of Teaching Tolerance to Children

Last update: 10 August, 2018

Teasing, bullying, disrespect, and other negative behaviors are common in children who never learned about the importance of being tolerant. Fortunately, parents can raise their children better by teaching tolerance and good values from an early age. 

Tolerance is undoubtably one of the most important qualities to have in today’s world. Although morals and values are taught at school, it’s usually not enough. You must continue to teach good behavior at home.

Find out about the importance of teaching tolerance to children in this article, as well as actions and guidelines you can use at home.

First of All, What Is Tolerance?

Tolerance is being willing to understand other points of view. It also means learning about realities different from your own. Therefore, it implies consideration, respect, commitment to others, and an even social playing field.

However, be careful not to confuse it with being weak. It’s simply not condemning others or being condescending. The hard part of raising tolerant children is teaching them to not lose their own identity.

So, during group activities, your child’s friends shouldn’t tell him or her what to do. The best way to teach children to create a balance with their friends is by incorporating another concept: justice.

“Tolerance is the willingness to understand other points of view and realities different from your own.”

Let’s Be Parents That Teach Fairness

Since we’re their parents, it’s normal that children see us sort of like “judges.” After all, parents tell children what’s right and wrong. We also reward good behavior and punish bad behavior.

Parents help children learn tolerance.
Therefore, the first way to teach tolerance is through your own judgment. In this sense, you should put a few things in practice.
  • Question selfish and rude attitudes in their first social environments.
  • Be strong and courageous in the face of things that are unfair.

These moments of reflection are important. They help your children develop their own sense of judgment. They also help us answer their questions in a logical, thorough way.

Oral Expression is Important in Teaching Tolerance

Conversations and problems aren’t the only times to talk about these issues with your child. A great way to transmit values are through children’s narratives.  Songs, stories, and even comics can help your child learn morals.

“These moments of reflection are important. They help your children develop their own sense of judgment.”

Another thing we should pay attention to is the questions our children ask us. Things like: “Why does that man have long hair?” or “Why does that kid look different?” These are perfect opportunities to teach your children. Parents need to be careful how they answer these questions. Your children will remember them.

Building a discourse in support of diversity is important. It’s especially important when it comes to social issues. Also, questioning jokes will teach your children to respect all types of people.

Children must learn tolerance to get along with people different than they are.

Beware of Prejudices

Children are a reflection of their parents and other family members. When we say judgemental or mean things, that’s what we teach our kids. Although many people might not realize it, kids learn from this. They absorb what they see like little sponges.

When it comes to teaching tolerance to children, the first thing we should do is be tolerant ourselves. Parents should be an example of respect, empathy, and good treatment. They should also avoid unnecessary conflict. Any kind of vulgar or crude sayings should stay strictly between adults. Children shouldn’t be exposed to them.

Even when we’re joking, children might get the wrong idea. That’s why we need to explain that there are different points of view. We need to dedicate time to teach this. It isn’t a small thing: we are teaching children how to live in society.

Pay Attention to How You Handle Situations

Parents who are angry, unhappy and too strict raise intolerant children. Therefore, the learning begins with you and how you handle everyday occurrences. 

If you show your children that you’re out of control, your children will see this as normal behavior. The best way to get rid of intolerance is to eliminate violence from family life. The main concept of being tolerant is to understand that we are all human.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.