An intolerant attitude won't get you very far these days and a growing number of parents are concerned with how their children might react to lifestyles that are different than their own. It's true that children's attitudes are a product of their environment, so the fight against closed minds begins at home.
Establish An Open Learning Environment
School curriculums are grounded in test performance, so while your kids will learn valuable lessons in the classroom, humanistic ideas such as acceptance have to be reinforced at home.
You can foster this type of thinking by participating with your children in problem solving scenarios that require critical thinking. Brainstorming together rather than handing them solutions to their problem will help them exercise their minds and become more independent thinkers.
Watch Your Own Attitude
You are your kids' biggest role model for what being a grown up means. Outright judgement of someone based on where they stand on an issue is a quick way to get your kids to do the same.
Reject your own inclinations to value someone based on their beliefs and your kids will respond in turn.
Monitor Their Media Intake
There are a wide variety of movies and TV shows out there, so the values your children develop could easily reflect the entertainment they grow up watching. We spoke with Dr. Adiaha Spinks-Franklin, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital, who explained to us the importance of introducing positive content to your children at a young age.
"Look at Cinderella. Her step mother and step sisters bullied her. They treated her poorly. So there are a lot of examples in cartoons and even pop culture or literature where someone is ostracized, teased, made fun of, or treated meanly because they;re not like the other people and we have to let them know that's not okay."
There are countless examples of movies that both help and hurt the efforts of establishing open-mindedness, so take special care to ensure your kids are being entertained by beneficial content.