In this season of goodwill, make sure your children understand that prejudice and discrimination are unfair. Here are some suggestions from the Anti-Defamation League and the National PTA.
First, accept each of your children as unique and special. Let your children know that you recognize and appreciate their individual qualities.
Children who feel good about themselves are less likely to be prejudiced.
Also, notice unique and special qualities in other people and discuss them with your children. Help your children become sensitive to other people’s feelings.
Studies show that caring, empathetic children are less likely to be prejudiced.
Share stories and books with your children that help them understand the points of view of other people. When conflicts do occur, encourage your children to think about how the other person might be feeling.
Make it a firm rule in your family that no person should be excluded or teased on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, accent, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or appearance. Point out and discuss discrimination when you see it.
Teach your children respect and an appreciation for differences by providing opportunities for interaction with people of diverse groups.
Studies show that children playing and working together toward common goals develop positive attitudes about one another. It all makes a difference.