how to model and teach TOlerance

Tolerance is a character trait that we as Parents  can model to help with Bullying Prevention and possibly Stop Bullying all together.

WHAT IS tolerance?

Let's start with the basics. Tolerance is the ability to accept things, people, places, circumstances the way they are without speaking or acting against it. It is about letting go of the small stuff and just letting things be as they are whether or not we like it or want to change it. IF we as parents practice Tolerance our children will learn from us which will inevitably impact Bullying. 


When we as parents show our children a character trait like Tolerance our children learn from us. This is called modelling.  As adults we can practice Tolerance to encourage the Prevention of Bullying by:

  • Being Flexible and avoiding complaining about how cold or hot it is, how noisy, how slow etc. It is going with the flow of things.
  • Being Accepting of people as they are with all the differences acknowledging that everyone is different.
  • Being Forgiving. You have heard of don't sweat the small stuff?? Well this is along those lines. Show patience and forgiveness and accept things you cannot change.
  • Avoid Judging and accept differences whether or not you approve or like it.
  • Refuse to accept abuse or injustice.

Bullying Prevention with Tolerance

Many times a child is bullied due to some perceived difference. Skin color, clothes, height, weight, religion etc. Practicing tolerance allows people around you to be different without criticizing, complaining and condemning them. You don't have to embrace them as your best friend but you can accept they are different and go on your way without Bullying them or being hurtful. 

Tolerance gives us the room to be flexible, forgiving and patient with things, people and circumstances we cannot control or change. It gives us space to overlook things we don't like and still be friends (or at least not enemies or bullies)

Tolerant people accept when things are uncomfortable and cannot be changed with understanding, patience and forgiveness. 


You may or may not be a tolerant person. It is easy to read the words, understand how it can be of value to help your child and then continue believing differences are bad, wanting everyone to think and act like you, trying to  change people, complain about things you don't like or worse Accept abuse. Here are some actions you can take to remember to practice tolerance and "act as if" until it naturally becomes part of who you are. 

  1. Be open and accept differences.
  2. Refuse  to complain or  do anything out of prejudice, racism or a desire to want to change someone or something.
  3. Forgive others for their differences. They are not good or bad...they just Are...
  4. Overlook differences of others.
  5. Accept the things you cannot change.

Bullying Prevention with Tolerance needs to be reinforced. If more children practiced acceptance instead of making it their mission to change or shame another child perhaps Bullying would be less of an issue.

Technology seems to make the world smaller and opens access to many different cultures. This shines a spotlight on many differences.  Our children have more access to information  and are growing up in a different world than we did. As we grow as a society Tolerance will become more and more important as very different cultures collide more than ever before. As parents we can prevent bullying by modelling Tolerance for our children...I am not saying it is easy...feel free to print this page and use it as a reminder.  

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