Teaching Tolerance to Tots

Recently, there has been a spate of media attention given to the tragedies involving children and bullies.  Given that mild teasing can turn into hurtful taunting and bullying, I believe that it’s never too early to start discussing bullying with your children.  Of course, what you discuss and how you discuss it will vary given the age of your children, but if we’re going to tell them from a young age not to hit, then we should be taking it a step further and teaching them not to taunt, either. 

The other evening I had a fabulous opportunity to do just that, by reading a new book with my tot entitled, Flightless Goose  (by E Goodman).  It’s a nicely illustrated tale about a goose who is different from the other geese and is teased for his differences.  The book does a nice job of showing how the teasing the goose’s feelings, which is an invaluable lesson to teach children.  The tale also goes on to show how the goose learns to accept his differences and embrace his new abilities.  He learns that although he is different from his friends, he is just as important as they and comes to embrace his own self-worth.

After reading the story to my tot, I explained that although this goose was different, it didn’t make him bad or mean or better or worse than any of the other geese.  He just had is own special talents, like we all do.   It’s never too early to teach our kids that being different is alright, no matter what that difference may be.

For more information on the book, you can visit the website www.flightlessgoose.com.  I highly recommend it for young readers.  Enjoy!


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