Tolerance and Respect for Different People
June 26, 2014  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Today, we live in a multicultural society. Our children are raised in a diverse environment where they should learn to live with people of other nationalities and race. It might not happen at your  children´s school but this summer, the possibilities of them playing at the beach, pool or park with children from other parts of the world are pretty high. Take this as a great opportunity to teach them about tolerance and about valuing the positive differences between people. As their parent and role model, you are the perfect person to do this.  Remember, children are not born with prejudices. They learn it from us .

Racism, xenophobia, antisemitism… are all born out of fear of the unknown. In order to avoid your children being intolerant towards others, you should teach them to trust and respect people, no matter how different they are or appear to be.  And how do you do this? With information. The more your children know about other cultures, religions and traditions from a positive point of view, the more open they will be to accept diversity.

However, if you don´t show them by example, don´t expect your children to be tolerant. You are the role model and they follow in your footsteps. So, remember to show respect for people of different countries and show your children the wonders of  learning new things from them.


Trying recipes from different parts of the world will help your children discover how rich and diverse this planet is. Spend an evening cooking a new recipe from a distant land together and talk about where the dish comes from, what language they speak there, if the dish has a traditional or a religious significance, etc.  By cooking together you will be encouraging your children to be curious for something that is foreign or unknown. Once you all sit down at the table, try what you´ve made.  If your children don´t like the dish, make sure you express their opinion but avoid derogatory and offensive remarks. You don´t necessarily have to like things that are different but you must always show respect.

If your kids are too young to cook, you can create games related  to food. For example, take some strings of yarn and some chopsticks and  pretend to eat Chinese noodles and practice. Or make roll some playdoh into tiny balls and put them into a bowl. Pretend it´s couscous. By playing together, they´ll come to learn to see differences as something normal. 


At the Park

In most countries around the world, soccer is the King. It´s not unusual to see groups of different children playing soccer together.  Next time you go to the park and see a group of children playing, encourage your children to join in the fun.  If they seem a bit shy, be an example: walk up and talk to them. Ask them what team they like the best. You´ll be a role model and will motivate your children to better interact.

Make sure you expand your  conversations with foreign parents beyond  the school and park. Why not invite them to eat lunch or organize a picnic?


Another way to explain the importance of learning from different cultures is by playing.  Plus, they´ll understand it faster and better. Take one of their toys or a doll and give it a nationality,  religion, traditions, dress, food, etc…  Do some online research together and locate the map of that country to discover interesting facts. You can also create a playlist with music from different parts of the world.

Music, Culture and Entertainment

Música, cultura y espectáculos

Another fun way of approaching your children to the multicultural world we live in is going to concerts and exhibits by musicians and artists form different countries and cultures. You´ll be developing their curiosity and sparking their questions. Amongst their storybooks,  make sure they read fairytales, adventures and stories from different cultures as well.

Would you like to share more ideas on how to enhance your kid’s interaction with foreign children?

Photo Credits: USAG Humphreys


The Best Children´s Book of 2016
Discover Animal Babies Nursery
Tools for kids with special needs
Website (optional):