One of the greatest virtues we can have is tolerance. The acceptance and appreciation of others with different backgrounds is absolutely essential. If you want to make a difference for future generations, you need to impart the wisdom of tolerance. Here are four ways you can teach tolerance to children.
1. Expose them to different people
There’s no better way to learn about tolerance than to actually interact with those different from you. Do all you can to give your children a vast array of exposures. Their schools should be as diverse as possible. Have them meet people with different religious, racial, gender identity backgrounds and more. Let their curiosity shine without othering the people. You should also consider your own social group and how diverse it is.
2. Teach them about different types of tolerance
Tolerance isn’t just about accepting people who are a different race or religion from you. It includes those and more. Tolerance movements like the one for LGBT rights have gained immense steam in recent decades. There are more to come that we can’t predict. Tolerance is not a pick-and-choose process. If you want to be tolerant, you need to care about the rights of everyone equally.
3. Take them a museum
A museum is a place where all sorts of history lessons come to life, including ones about tolerance. At a civil rights museum or similar place, your kids can learn these lessons firsthand. Seeing important items and photos of those who fought for rights can be incredibly inspiring. You can also use this for further learning. Look for books and movies about crusaders to bring home with you. If there are projects for things like Black History Month, work with your kids to make the best one possible.
4. Ask important questions
Tolerance might seem like too-broad of a concept for your kids at first. It also might be hard for them to relate to. If they haven’t dealt with any first-hand intolerance, they might wonder what the big deal is. Ask your children what it would feel like for them to have laws against them or people looking at them negatively based on the color of their skin. Tell them that these issues affect people all around the world and should not be ignored. It can be a difficult conversation, but it’s necessary.
Your children might not realize the value of your tolerance lessons at first. However, as they grow older, they’ll become more and more aware of intolerance in the world. They can use their knowledge to strike for changes. They can also appreciate you taking the time to inform them at a young age.