Prejudice is built socially from our interactions with the world and with others. With each interaction and exchange, the child also absorbs and understands the world. In this way, they build their values and perceptions. In this, many good things appear. However, this construction may allow some social behaviors that permeate machismo, racism, and hierarchies to pass from generation to generation.
Therefore, if these behaviours are not thought out and resigned, it is possible that they will be prolonged. In this sense, each generation has the opportunity to bring about ever more agile changes in favour of a more respectful society. With this in mind, how can we combat child prejudice and raise a child without prejudice?
How to combat child prejudice
Children notice the differences
The child is expected to notice differences, especially if it is the first time he or she encounters that particular characteristic or behaviour. From there, parents and educators can explain these differences, whether they are ethnic, gender, disability, religion. They can then take advantage of this moment to expand the child’s perceptions of the diversity we have in the world.
It is also possible to arouse the child’s curiosity to meet new people, new places and new beliefs. It is important to reinforce that each one is in a way, both when we talk about physical characteristics and about personal characteristics and preferences. After all, this is what makes the conversations interesting, because of the different opinions and different ways of seeing the world.
It is important to be coherent
Having consistency between what you say to your child and how you act is paramount. Children learn primarily by reproducing our attitudes. So, the first step for the little one to respect others is for you to reinforce respectful attitudes at home. It is to be a positive example. Pay attention to ironic comments and the way you talk about other people in front of the little ones. Also, notice their biases, and force yourself to change them.
Respect above the preferences
Dialogue is very important. Sometimes the child tabulates a colleague for “boring” or “different”, for example. There, you have an opportunity to reinforce that the child can choose his friends according to affinity, but that he must necessarily respect everyone. Regardless of whether the person is in their cycle of friends or not. Reinforcing that respect comes before any preferences is very important.
Expose your child to differences and fight child prejudice
Taking your child to places frequented by different people, presenting content from different countries and different languages are other important attitudes. Highlighting how big the world is and how it enables endless learning are good ways to train your child to see how differences are important forms of expression and happiness. The more your child is exposed to differences, the more naturally he or she will face them.
So take a walk with the little one. Visit exhibitions, parks and walk around the city. Don’t be afraid to introduce the world to your child and discuss important issues. For example, poverty, hunger, social responsibility, the economy, etc. Of course, always adapt the complexities to the range. Remember that the less resistance we have to the issues, the more natural we will be to talk to our children about the pluralities.
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