Modelling and teaching your child about acceptance of others

As a role model, it is important for fathers to be aware of how they treat other people and to model inclusion of people from all backgrounds and abilities. To do this, you need make the effort to be aware of any prejudices you may have yourself.

It can be helpful to reflect your own behaviours to identify any unconscious prejudices or even times you may joke about things that might seem harmless, but that could give you children the wrong idea.

Prejudice is often brought by a fear of the unknown or of something that is different. It is natural for younger children to be inquisitive or even frightened of people who are different to them, when they first see or meet them. As fathers you can help your children learn that everyone is different in some way, and that we are all unique and special in our own way.

Top Tips to model and teach acceptance of others

  1. Teach your children to be open to and accepting other children who are different.
  2. Role model inclusivity. Consider how you treat people from other countries or cultures, people with disabilities, etc
  3. Demonstrate to your children how to make other people feel comfortable by treating everyone with respect, regardless of their differences.
  4. Talk to them about what bullying behaviour is and how some people might bully others because they are different. Let them know that it is never okay to bully others and that it shows strength of character to support people who may be feeling left out.
Mondays with Fathering Project founder Dr. Bruce Robinson
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