Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Parent to Parent: Diversity Tolerance
Adults may say they're tolerant but drive into traffic or ask for directions in another language, and you'll probably find many of us have a hard time showing it. Dr. Valerie has some advice on how to teach your kids about diversity and tolerance in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Germany may be in Europe and Colombia in South America, but, in the Kuhn household, both countries collide.
That's because 5-year-old Sophia and 2-year-old Alexander are a mix of their parents' heritage.
Claudia Kuhn: "I was born in Colombia, but I was raised here in the United States."
Jeff Kuhn: "I was born here in the United States, and I was raised in Sebring, Florida."
While their backgrounds may be different, Claudia and Jeff are teaching their children race or ethnicity just does not matter.
Claudia Kuhn: "I think she probably sees people are a little different, and then I say to her, 'Well, that's OK. They may be from a different places, but we are all on the same place now, so that really isn't that important."
Lynn Martinez: "Tolerance isn't just black and white. It's about being able to accept things that you wish were different."
Dr. Valerie Goode: "A person who is intolerant is prejudiced, bigoted. They discriminate, but a tolerant person is very peaceful, very easy to be around."
That's why 7 Parenting Expert Dr. Valerie Goode says tolerance starts at home.
Parents, kids are always watching, so begin by watching yourself. What makes you intolerant?
For instance, what would you do if someone came up to you speaking a different language?
Dr. Valerie: "Would you try to figure out what they are saying, or will you say to them, "I speak (whatever language it is you speak)?"
Instead, Dr. Valerie says try to be understanding.
Put yourself in that person's shoes.
Then think about alternative ways to handle the situation.
When it comes to childhood friendships...
Dr. Valerie: "Your child is going to bring home all kinds of friends at school, try not to be judgmental according to what color they are or what language they speak."
Instead, practice what you preach.
Dr. Valerie says this can be hard, but it's important to lead by example.
Dr. Valerie: "Children know that people are different, they really don't care. The only time that they care is when they are brought up in a family where it is very rigid, and things have to be the same all the time. So if you want your child to be a little more flexible, then be more flexible with him in terms of people."
Both Jeff and Claudia hope their children are learning this lesson.
Claudia Kuhn: "Because they have seen some of those differences from home, they will be a little more tolerant of seeing different people or different situations."
Lynn Martinez: "One last tip: Before reacting to a situation, take a deep breath and think about it first. Dr. Valerie says this really works."
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode:
7711 SW 62 Ave. Suite 203
Miami, FL 33143