It's easy for children to see things in black and white. You may find them starting to think of things as "just for boys" or "just for girls," for example; even grownups get caught in the trap of falling for generalizations--stereotypes--and looking no further. But this sort of closed-mindedness can cause problems--it leads to intolerance, which can lead to impoliteness or even bullying.

So how do you teach our kids to be open-minded? First, model the behavior you want them to follow. As a parent, you are your children’s primary role model, so you must be consistent in the way you treat others. If you treat other people differently based on traits such as race or gender or socio-economic status, your children are likely to do the same. If you show tolerance, your children may get on better with people who are different.

And how do you do this? Check out the slide show below for some tips.


Check out these other articles for more parenting tips

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(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, Parenting section as "Pride Without Prejudice" in September 2003; adapted for use in Female Network)

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