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Teaching Tolerance: Raising Open-Minded, Empathetic Children

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Violence by children against children is on the rise. One sure way parents can help combat this trend is by showing their children how to work with those around them. Parents' recognition of the equality of others is fundamental to that process - when we both recognize and respect differences in class, religion, sexual orientation, or race, then we can teach this ideal of equality to our children. Teaching Tolerance shows that no one is truly exempt from the habit of judging others. As children, in order to make ...
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Overview

Violence by children against children is on the rise. One sure way parents can help combat this trend is by showing their children how to work with those around them. Parents' recognition of the equality of others is fundamental to that process - when we both recognize and respect differences in class, religion, sexual orientation, or race, then we can teach this ideal of equality to our children. Teaching Tolerance shows that no one is truly exempt from the habit of judging others. As children, in order to make sense of the world, we were taught to label and categorize events and people around us. Sara Bullard discusses the importance of recognizing and, in some cases, reversing that process. Bullard shows parents how, once they are aware of the attitudes they were raised with, it is easier for them to teach their children true tolerance toward others. Throughout the book, readers find encouragement for private journal writing that will help them clarify their own history of tolerance and intolerance, as well as suggestions for activities that can be undertaken as a family. The latter half of the book discusses children's particular needs for security and self-expression, which, if respectfully met by their parents, will free them to be comfortable both with themselves and with people of different backgrounds.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tolerance begins at home, asserts Bullard, director of the Teaching Tolerance project sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and editor of its magazine for educators. We are all born with the capacity for tolerance and intolerance, Bullard maintains, and many of our natural traitssuch as drawing quick conclusions, ranking people and things, conforming, preferring the familiarcan lead to intolerance. By far the most important indicator of intolerance is how a child is treated within a family. The child who is denied love, or raised in an atmosphere that is harsh or threatening, will become frustrated and angry; low self-esteem and a propensity for prejudice are then more likely to follow. Firm, calm, consistent parenting, Bullard writes, allows children to develop the curiosity, creativity and appreciation for the mysteries of life that are characteristics of the tolerant individual. Bullard enlivens her work with quotes and anecdotes from such figures as Maya Angelou and Martin Luther King Jr., and she concludes each chapter with questions and suggestions for journal writing to help parents further explore their own attitudes. Also included is an extensive list of books, toys, games and music that explore ethnicity and promote tolerance. More thought-provoking than prescriptive, Bullard's reasoned and persuasive essay offers convincing inspiration for parents to serve as open-minded models for their children. (Sept.) Parenting
Library Journal
Bullard, director of Teaching Tolerance, the education division of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has written a powerful book for parents, educators, and anyone else who seeks to understand his or her own attitudes toward others. She studies the roots of our intolerance, which she sees as rising from our natural self-centeredness and our learning to cope with others. Each chapter includes suggestions for activities and journal entries in which readers can identify their own biases and understand their own behavior. Bullard explicitly states the principles of tolerance adults need to impart to children and provides guidelines for modeling the behavior we want to encourage. A list of resources can be found in the appendix. This superb book is recommended for all libraries.Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385472647
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.91 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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