Character is considered to be complex mental and ethical distinctive qualities built into an individual’s personality that will determine person’s response in any circumstance. We live in a world composed of a variety of different nations, cultures, races, and world views therefore building good character and good interpersonal skills is important to improve our lives and make the World a better place to live.
Learning how to tolerate and respect people who are different from us is s basis for building strong character and it should start at early age. By teaching your child not to insult, mock, tease or make fun of other children, you will help your child develop important basics for growing into a kind, generous, emphatic (http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-caring-child-how-to-teach-empathy_67146.bc) and caring adult. Children learn best when parents set a good example. Encourage them to appreciate other people’s cultures and opinions, try not to stereotype others, show them how to be sensitive to other’s feelings, and provide explanation in situations where a child may be confused with behavior, customs or clothing that differs from what he is accustomed to.
If you notice your child is making fun of others, there are many way to help him understand why such behavior is unwanted:
-Ask your child how he would feel if someone did the same to him. Explain this in a way to help him understand because it may be confusing if peers encourage bad behavior. –“always treat others how you would like them to treat you”.
-Identify disrespectful behavior and why it hurts others. Make sure he understands that insults, talking behind people’s back, and laughing at others’ differences are hurtful. Teach your child how to take responsibility for their actions (http://www.parents.com/kids/responsibility/values/its-not-my-fault/).
-Ask your child to tell you, in his own words, what he thinks is disrespectful behavior. Ask him to give you examples from school or their friends behavior and how that made him feel.
-Point out the good sides of living in a multi-cultured environment. Use age appropriate examples such as cuisine, toys, or bedtime stories. Express how fortunate he is to live in an environment of cultural varieties and that they should enjoy and cherish the differences.
-Talk to teachers from school or other parents about your child’s and other children’s behavior. Organize a parent gathering over dinner or playtime with other children to point out the richness of other cultures. People with strong character and tolerance toward differences of any kind generally lead happier lives. So make sure to show the positive sides of being tolerant and how pleasant, rewarding and joyful it can be.
-Teach your child the proper response to other children disrespecting others. Tell them whom to talk to with and why it is important to tell someone about it rather than participate in mistreating others.
By getting involved in building good character in your children while they are young, you will help them become strong, caring, generous, responsible and happy adults able to appreciate themselves as well as others and enjoy life.