According to a Gallup poll that was published back in 2011, 9 out of every 10 people believe in God. However, when it comes to each person’s faith practice, not everyone is the same. Some are Christians, some are Muslims, some are Jews…and some still practice religions that differ from these. So, being that America is a literal melting pot of so many diverse cultures, your child is bound to meet other kids who practice a religion that is quite different from their own.
That’s why we wanted to provide you with a few tips on how you can teach your child how to respect religions that not be like their own. That way, they can interact with those around them in a loving and compassionate way.
Make sure they clearly understand their own faith. Sometimes people are intolerant of other religions because when they hear individuals discuss their own personal beliefs, it leaves them confused about what to think about their own. The more secure your child is in what they believe in, the less likely they will be to feel uncomfortable around those who think differently than they do. Especially if you make sure to let them know that at the foundation of your faith is love, peace and a willingness to help your fellow man.
Teach them about other faiths. Unfortunately, some people are afraid that if they talk to their children about other religions, it may cause them to want to practice another faith. The reality is that if you make the time to provide your child with accurate information and also answer the questions they have about other religions, what it will actually do is calm the curiosity that they have while making them more embracing of people who do not think the same way that they do. So, aside from sharing details about other religions, be willing to do things like take them to festivals and events that incorporate other cultures. Also, be willing for your child to have friends of other faiths. You never know: By you being so open, it could actually help other families to want to teach their child about your faith too.
Celebrate tolerance. Discipline intolerance. While teaching little angels in your life about the importance of accepting the individuality of others, it’s imperative that you make sure that you celebrate your child when they show tolerance towards others and discipline them when they don’t. When we say “celebrate”, what we mean is that you praise them when they are kind to their classmates or talk to you about something nice that they did. When we say “discipline”, if you happen to notice signs of your son or daughter being mean or bullying another child, that needs to be immediately addressed so that your child knows that it’s something that you won’t tolerate within your home. Remember, even though children have many different influences, statistics reflect that you are still the most important one in their life. So, if you’re firm about how serious you are about respecting other religions, in time, your child will feel the same way. And respecting others is always a good thing.