Building Moral Intelligence
Prejudice is learned! Our children are not born with prejudices and stereotypes. It clearly is an attitude that is picked up. The key is to stop it as soon as it appears. Parental influence on ending intolerance, as well as escalating it is huge. Here are three key points to keep in mind to eliminate intolerant behavior in kids.
- First, help kids see similarities instead of focusing on differences. We all have the same feelings, thoughts, concerns, and needs. Yes, he has dark skin, or glasses, or a wheelchair, or trouble writing, but let’s see now how he’s the same.
- Point out prejudices or stereotypes before they start: “check that” Did you hear what you just said,” when you said all girls are stupid? Or all older people are deaf? That’s called a stereotype. Is that true? Counter your children’s prejudicial comments.
- And most importantly, if you want to raise a tolerant child, don’t allow harmful comments ever in your presence. Calmly say, “That’s hurtful, and I do not want to hear those kinds of comments.”
Raising tolerant and compassionate kids is as simple as letting them know what is appropriate and modeling those desired behaviors for them everyday.
For more information on raising tolerant children, read Building Moral Intelligence and Parents Do Make A Difference by Dr. Michele Borba.
For more information visit www.moralintelligence.com