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Let’s Teach Tolerance to Your Kids with These Handy Tips!


One key component in becoming a good human being is tolerance. If you are tolerant, it will be easier to interact with others from different backgrounds. However, sometimes parents fail to teach tolerance to their kids, especially when they live in a community with very little diversity.

But nowadays with the issue of racism arising in many places around the world, it’s much more pressing to teach tolerance to your kids. But is it possible to “teach” them tolerance?

Of course it’s possible. That’s why this time we are going to give some pointers for you to start.

1. Learn another language

One of the “easiest” way to teach tolerance to your kids is by letting them learn another language from another culture. They need to know how the Spanish language could utilize masculine and feminine word endings, something that does not exist in Indonesian language. When someone studies language, usually they will also learn about the history and culture of that language, which is very important in learning about tolerance.

Another reason you should let your child learn another language is so they can communicate with more people. If they could communicate with other people, they will learn that other cultures might view the world differently than they do.

2. Connect with different people

Most of the time, the reason someone could be intolerant and hateful is because of fear and ignorance. And there is nothing more effective in combating ignorance than giving education inside and outside of close.

In order for your kids to not be intolerant is by letting them involved with other people. One easy way to do this is by letting their child gets involved in sports, clubs, or after school activities.

By letting your child connect with others, they will be introduced to ideas they might not have encountered before. With your child grasping the idea of connecting to other people, they will also expand their knowledge of other people’s culture.

3. Teach patience to your kids

Another reason why someone could be intolerant is their lack of patience to stop and view the world with another point of view. This is also supported by the world we live in where instantaneous communication is a key. Of course, there are certain advantages to our lifestyle at the moment, but it also rarely promotes a slow and relaxed thinking.

The best way for you as a parent could teach tolerance to your child is by letting them learn about patience. You can teach them by modeling that behavior to your children. Give you child your full attention when they talk. Let your child explain why they couldn’t immediately do what you want them to do.

4. Finding good role models and heroes

Indonesia is a country of many islands and even more cultures. In order to gain our independence, there were many heroes with different cultural background. There is Captain Pattimura from Maluku that unified kingdoms from Ternate to Tidore. There is also I Gusti Ngurah Rai from Bali. By learning about those historical figures, kids will also learn about the culture of those heroes’ hometown.

However, heroes are not the only role models kids could have. They might like a certain public figure from a different country, and that is totally okay. By having role models, usually kids will try to look for their backgrounds, and by doing so they also learn about culture from other countries.

5. Reading

Another easy way to teach tolerance to your kids is by reading. When someone reads a book, they will inhabit different points of view, cultures, and life experiences they would not normally encounter in their daily lives.

Keith Oatley, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto said that reading will create a simulation of reality inside the reader’s brain. Thankfully, the brain doesn’t distinguish simulation from reality.

A particularly powerful genre kids should read, according to Oatley, is fiction. By reading fiction, the reader will have to experience the world through another person’s eyes, and that is the highest form of tolerance.

Activities to do with your kids

In order to teach tolerance to your kids, it might be a good idea to read them a few books, especially about historical figures that has to go through hardships in order to be successful. Here are some reading example that might help:

Marie Curie

Marie Sklodowska Curie was a chemist and physicist that was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867. Her family lost everything due to a patriotic involvement to restore Poland’s independence from Russia.

In the 1800s Poland, women are not allowed to pursue higher education, and the same thing happens to Marie. However, Marie and her sister were lucky to be involved with Flying University, an institution that allowed women to pursue a higher degree.

In 1894, Marie who was now a scientist, was denied as a professor at Krakow University because she was a woman. However, her partner convinced her to pursue a Ph.D. in Paris and Marie Curie became a leading figure in chemistry and physics eventually. Even though she was declined many things because she is a woman, she still pushes through and eventually got what she deserved in December 1903: a Nobel Prize in Physics.

If you want to tell the story of Marie Curie, there is a picture book about her that you could buy here.

Mother Teresa

Photo credits: John Mathew Smith

Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu or better known as Mother Teresa was a religious figure revered by many. One of her greatest achievements is the founding of Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation of Roman Catholic with over 4500 nuns.

The congregation she created manages many homes for people dying because of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and leprosy. They also have soup kitchens, orphanages, schools, mobile clinics, and dispensaries.

Her legacy will surely teach your kids about empathy, tolerance, love, and charity. There is a picture book about Mother Teresa that you could get here

There are many other figures that you could read for your kids, such as: Stephen Hawking, Mozart, Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, and many more. The idea is not only to introduce them to your kids, but to also make them understand that those people are from different countries, different living conditions, and has their own hardships to overcome.

Happy reading!

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Here Are 5 Tips on Nurturing Empathy on Kids!


There are a lot of debates regarding whether or not empathy is innate capacity in human or a learned trait. However, one thing is for sure. Nurturing empathy on kids will only result in good things for the children moving forward.

Children with empathy will be able to cope with conflict and difficult situations better compared to those without empathy. They will also be less likely to engage in bullying; rather, they might be more than likely to jump in and stand up for the bullied peer.

There are a few things parents could do regarding nurturing empathy on kids, and some of those are:

1. Model empathy

One way of nurturing empathy on kids is by practicing empathy to them. When parents empathize with our children, we can let them develop trust and secure attachment with the parents. This can be done with simple things, such as picking children up when they fall and listen to them.

When children see the way their parents use empathy to respond to difficult situations, they will start to internalize those actions and will try to learn practicing the same thing.

2. Teach empathy through play

When children are playing with dolls or other things, parents can try to follow their children’s lead and use the opportunity to teach empathy during the play. For example, if they are playing with dolls and one of the dolls bumps into another doll, you can say “Ouch, I think my doll is hurt, can you help them?”

With this action, children will start to think that if someone is hurt or needs help, they should help out.

3. Teach kids to identify their feelings

Another way that could help in nurturing empathy on kids is to label their feelings for them, be it positive or negative. That way, children can connect their emotional reactions with words. This is very important because it will be hard for a child to understand how other people feel if they could not identify theirs.

Parents can do this with many things, and one of them is by reading through a picture book and point out the facial cues on the characters.

4. Make caring as a priority

In order for children to understand that other people’s perspective is also valuable, they would need to hear it from their parents directly. Parents should tell their children that caring about other people is important—as important as their own happiness.

5. Give children time to practice empathy

There is almost nothing better than letting children practice their empathy. This can take form in a family meeting where children can have their voices heard and listen to other people’s perspective, to the simple gesture of asking about their classmates or friends.

By nurturing empathy on kids, parents are preparing their children for the future. Empathetic people are generally well-liked due to how they are “socially intelligent”. This will then increase their self esteem.

Activities to try with your kids

If you want to try nurturing empathy on kids, there are a few activities we can suggest for you, and those are:

1. Facial Expression Exercise

This exercise will help kids with knowing what kind of emotion is felt by other people. In order to do this, you can grab a piece of paper and draw a facial expression, then show it to your kids. Let them guess what kind of feeling is the person is expressing.

If you want to experiment even more, you can let your kids draw the expressions, and you can be the one to guess.

In order to help you, TeacherVision provided a sheet of basic facial expressions you can print and show to your kids.

If you want to go for even more advanced emotion, Thought Catalog have some photographs that might help you to introduce facial expression to your kids.

2. Create a scenario during play

When you are playing dolls with your kids, you can try to create a scenario such as one of the dolls fell, or they dropped their lunch. See the facial expression of your kids and ask them what do they feel seeing a doll got into an accident. Also, ask them about what they will do or whether or not they will help the doll.

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Is It Important to Teach Empathy on Kids?

The answer is yes.

Before we talk about the importance of empathy on kids, it might be best to understand what empathy is. Empathy is something that is stronger than sympathy. While sympathy is a shared feeling of sorrow, pity, or compassion towards another person, empathy is the ability to put yourself in the place of another person and understand their emotions.

During their early childhood, young children are usually very ego-centric by nature and often times think mostly about themselves rather than about the needs of another person. They are not ready to consider the feelings of other people.

However, developing and teaching empathy on kids is an important thing to do as it will benefit them from their childhood until their adult life. It’s important to help children understand that their own actions can impact other people and to let them know that someone might be experiencing a certain feelings at a certain time.

Helping your children to develop their sense of empathy will gives a few benefits during childhood, such as:

Helps the child building a sense of security and stronger relationships

When we teach empathy on kids, our child will try to position themselves on their peers situation. This will create a stronger relationship between them and their friends or educator. With a stronger relationship, the atmosphere at school will be better suited for studying.

It will encourage children to accept others

Usually, children won’t realize that each person is different. Once they learn about empathy, they might be able to start seeing the difference and will try to accept other people for it. Not only that, but empathy will also teach them about tolerance.

It can reduce the likelihood of bullying

One reason why bullying happens is because children saw something different from them. With empathy, there will be lower number of bullying because with empathy, children will tend to promote harmony and peace instead of mocking someone else because they are different.

It promotes good mental health

By teaching empathy on kids, they will create a safe space for them and their friends. Experiencing empathy from others will create an emotional connection, love, and support. It will also reduce anxiety, feelings of loneliness, and depression.

Not only during childhood, but teaching empathy on kids will also affect them as they become adults, and those are:

  • A higher level of happiness
  • Better ability to understand other people such as their co-workers or customers.
  • Becoming a good leader
  • A lower level of stress overall

In a simpler term, helping to develop empathy on kids is vital in nurturing the ability to regulate emotions within children.