Acceptance goes well beyond tolerance or endurance of something unpleasant. Accepting is the first step to learn to love our differences, understanding and appreciating what others bring to our lives.
Acceptance is a WHOLE Family principle because it enhances our relationship with others and ourselves. By accepting your children and teaching them the positive principle of acceptance, you will help them live a happier, more peaceful life, and to grow up to be successful adults.
5 Ways to teach our children Acceptance:
- Teach them to love their bodies. Accepting others starts with accepting ourselves. As our children grow, it is necessary to teach them to love their bodies and understand it is the body they will have during their mortal existence. Your child must learn to embrace his/her body and develop a great relationship with it and not make it a target for self-defeat and criticism. The fundamental principle is to make clear that the way one looks is not and should not be the yardstick with which they measure their self-worth. While it is healthy to want improvement and growth; if we feel we must change in order to be worthy of love or happiness, we have gone too far.
- Teach them to love variety. Many parents avoid the topic of diversity because it is uncomfortable to them or because they don’t feel qualified enough to do so. Open, direct communication helps a child make smart decisions. You don’t have to be a PhD to gain your child’s trust. Honesty is all it takes. Be open about the different flavors of humans there are. We differ in appearance, culture, religious beliefs, political views, nationality, gender, marital status, educational level, and in little things like “favorite color.” Teach your child to love and embrace others who are different, and explain how they make the world better and how it would be boring without them.
- Teach them to find common ground. Explaining how we are different is not enough. Positive moms take the time to teach kids, in word and by example, that they must put an effort into finding similarities that will help us connect with others whose attributes weren’t instantly attractive to us. Focusing on how we are “the same” speeds up the process of acceptance.
- Teach them “The Work.” Are you familiar with The Work of Byron Katie? It is summarized on a rhyme , which my girls made into a little song: “judge your neighbor, write it down, ask four questions, turn it around.” This is a very helpful tool to help us not only accept, but change our perception with regard to others’ behaviors:
- We catch ourselves having a judgmental thought about another person, which causes us pain, separation and/or suffering.
- We write it down, then ask the questions:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
- We turn the thought around, which helps us ground and humble ourselves with the real truth.