It is pretty common to hear the comments about how a kid looks like. This begins with wearing something different, being too skinny, being too short in height or vice versa, walking in a different way and even for being the wrong color. People are quite open to comment and make judgments about others. It’s those people whose children learn the same and judge people the same way. You must have seen a child running to the parents crying, telling them how he/she looks ugly because that is something their fellow classmate told them. But is that right to let happen? Is this what we are teaching the younger generation today and guiding them into being the same in future?
Judging someone by their appearance is the worst thing to do. You may never know what the person is really like till you get to know them personally. A person may be fat because he may suffer from thyroid disorders. A person may be short in height because he might have some nutritional deficiency or may suffer from celiac disease.
Kids and even elders are judged a lot at schools, tuition centers, malls, libraries and every single place they go. There is no place where a child can perpetually walk without the suspicious eyes following. A group of young boys passing you on the streets puts you on edge. It’s our perception that a group of rowdy boys who wear unkempt clothes could be thieves or worse. But the fact can be that they are simply enjoying their youth. Judging can never be put on hold without a sincere effort from the parents. It’s the parents who need to change their perspective so that their children could learn the same.
Nurturing Non-judgemental Trait
The best way to ensure that your kids are not judged is to educate them into being non-judgemental themselves.
Since it is the responsibility of the parents to raise non-judgemental kids, here you can see how that can be done:
1. Expose kids to people from different walks of life
It is imperative that kids get to understand what other people have experienced in their lives. Having a conversation with a blind person can make them feel compassion for their difficulties in life without the vision. Similarly encountering handicaps, homeless, drug addicts, orphans, old homeless, mentally affected, etc. can help to understand the differences and struggles in life.
2. Allow kids to experience different cultures
Where we have lived all our lives, we believe that is the best way to live. But there are numerous different cultures across the world. It will be great if the kids could experience how people from different regions, localities and islands live their lives. Going on trips to different places, studying about different countries and their cultures, ethnicity, and festivals, etc. will help them understand how the world looks from different ends. All this would be a great way to develop an understanding of how and why people live their lives a certain way.
3. Educate kids on differences
Since they are young, kids who are used to one kind of atmosphere and familiarity. They do not understand the differences in the outside world. People who speak differently, wear different, look different etc. are funny for kids. Getting them familiar with those possible differences as well as explaining that such differences are neither good nor bad but just different, can be a good way to make kids comfortable. Get them familiar with people of different appearances, religions, cultures, illnesses, autism in other kids and other differences in their lifestyle. If things are not foreign to kids, then they won’t judge or form a different opinion.
4. Speak the truth and do not give opinions
A very common occurrence is when kids confront their parents about a different individual in their vicinity. The answer of the parents is what makes the child either judgemental or accepting of what is around them. For example, if a kid is confused about an adult, the parent could explain why the person is different and that it is quite normal to encounter such individuals. This would make the child not think twice about people like the corresponding individual but be confident about why the person seemed different. A comfort in the fact that a kid knows the truth, is a sure way to teach them compassion and empathy.
5. Use non-judgemental language
Children learn what their parents speak. Hence, it is necessary that the language embraced by the parents is acceptable, smooth as well as truthful in order to teach what is right for kids. If parents are racist, sexist, biased or judging in the way they use their words, kids would eventually learn the same and hence follow down the path of judgemental individuals.
It is always frowned upon when kids are judged. No matter who is the one being judgemental, it could be another kid or an adult.
A very classic example: While watching a reality show on TV, a parent might just comment on any contestant that look at what is she wearing. She is looking so weird. Being a parent, is this what you are teaching your child? Today, you are judging someone on TV, later your child will comment on what his friend is wearing.
What matters the most is the effect those judgments can have on the receiving individual. Hence, aim towards a healthy interpersonal relationship along with non-judgemental attitude.
Article Credits: Mitalee Mithal | New Delhi | India