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10 Ways to Respect Differences

Everyone is different, and it is important to be sensitive to that fact. Children look up to their parents and will imitate their behaviour, so the way you act towards others who are different can have a profound impact on them. By making sure you are respectful to everyone, you can ensure your children will do the same. In this week of our parenting tips series, we have 10 ways to respect the differences between yourself and others.

1. Be courteous and friendly to others.  You can help your child respect others by the way you greet people, talk with them, and talk about them afterwards. Children learn from our example.

2. Make a family book about similarities and differences:  You and your child could work together to make a book about the people in your family.

3. Value difference. Arrange a small get-together with one or two families. Each could make a snack that may be different or new to the others, possibly an ethnic food or one that is special in other ways for their family.

4. Meet new friends.  You may want to tell your child about a time when you met someone who seemed different at first but as you got to know the person, you came to appreciate him or her.

5. Use empathy: Can your child remember coming into a group and feeling ignored or left out? Talking about your child’s feelings can help your child develop empathy and begin to see things from another person’s point of view.

6. We believe that we are all special people.

7. Treat others kindly even if they are different.

8. We show we are listening by what we say.

9. We are concerned about each other’s feelings.

10. Use books, the internet and society to introduce your child to difference and in particular all types of families and how they are all unique and special – just like ours.

This week’s ’10 Ways to’ is by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.

Coming soon: 10 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Preschool; 10 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Self Esteem; 10 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating.

For support and advice on any of these topics, call askonefamily on 0818 66 22 12 or


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