Filed in News by on November 26, 2011

Why your kids shouldn’t be prejudiced
Written by Amina Alhassan Saturday, 26 November 2011

As a parent – mother or father – start inculcating family values in your kids before they start learning prejudice from others.

Right from the word go, humans are highly emotional. It can manifest id different ways and behaviours. Prejudice is one of them. Prejudice as it sounds, comes from the word, “pre-judge” which can be fairly understood as prior conviction made on something before facts. Prejudice has also been associated with words such as “intolerant” and “bigotory”, which are usually used in the racial and religious manners. Most of the times, we are able to see clearly whenever someone is prejudiced towards religion, race or gender. This again is what we women are guilty of, as we tend to prejudge others before we even get to know who they really are.

We tend to show prejudices towards those we feel are not of the same class as we are. At times, the different forms of prejudice we exhibit are carried along into our marriages and other relationships.

In these modern times, prejudice should be outdated, but more and more individuals have been victimized on the account of prejudice nowadays. If we critically analyse the crisis that happened – and is still happening – in Jos, we will notice that it all still boils down to heavy and incurable prejudice.

Prejudice is more than an issue of race or conflict between adults, but it is something our kids are also engraving into their minds and character. The only way to put a stop this is to start inculcating in our kids at an early stage in life the negative sides of prejudice. Prejudice is a disease and needs immediate cure in our society.

“Raising kids and understanding ethnic diversity in our society cannot be seen as a separate task, they are part of our jobs, if we are to act as good parents. Children at a very tender age are tempted to discriminate among other kids different from them and it only worsens when they enter their teenage years. This behavior if left to develop in kids and left unchecked can be self-destructive in the long run for the kid because making wrong judgment about people based on prejudice can impair his inability to make the right decision as an adult,” says Mr. Babalola Owolabi, a rights activist with an NGO.

Children are not born with a prejudiced mind of their own. It is something they learn from people as they grow up in a community. If you want your kids to grow up to respect and treat everyone equally, you will need to teach them the truth at an early stage in life. Children often take their cues from their parents’ behavior. So if you ever find yourself making fun of a relative or speaking badly behind someone’s back, stop it, for you might just be laying the foundation of a prejudiced mind in your kids.

Aisha Suleiman, Head, Relations, Child Welfare Service, Abuja, says “children are curious about everything around them; and they learn so much and fast from adults around them, including how they react to situations. Example, who they put down or build up in a conversation with friends and how they treat others are issues children learn from their parents.

Mothers must start embedding family values in their kids before they start learning the traits of prejudice from others outside the home. To help your kids you have to first explore the impact of your prejudice, which we cannot deny that other people have become victims of. As a responsible parent, one has to make sure one avoids becoming an unbiased adult. Action, they say, speaks louder than voice. Sometimes taking a stand means taking a risk, but this is one risk we should not forsake. By eliminating your own prejudice, you will also help your kids grow in a prejudice-free environment

Since time we have had to live with the poisonous practice called prejudice in our lives. Most wars and conflicts have been started because of prejudice and hatred. Hatred has never stopped and come to think of it, it is has killed everything good in life and never made anything better in this world, so why all the prejudice and hatred

People with strong prejudices are rarely able to look inwards to see if the fault lies within them. They often blame others for their own problems. Parents and guardians should try to impart in our kids to treat everyone as individuals and not to generalize on religion, ethnicity, belief or preferences. In simplest terms remind them never to stoop to a level such as being prejudiced, teach them that it is a behavior unbecoming of a lady or a gentleman, discrimination and prejudice is borne out of ignorance and the ill- educated. Teach them to accept every individual as unique and special in his/her own capabilities. Teach them that being different is not a sign of weakness or shame, tell them that diversity makes us stronger. Let them understand that prejudice and hatred are not acceptable and it is an unnecessary waste of time and energy to get involved. Let them know that accepting people for who they are is one of the most priceless things we can learn and practice and pass on to others. Only this way can we have a peaceful and comfortable society, by stopping the voice f hatred and prejudice in our kids’ right from when they are born!


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