How to Teach Children to Respect Religious Beliefs Outside Their Own

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Many parents who hold religious beliefs wish to pass them along to their children. They want their children to know the special connection with a higher power that has enhanced their own lives. But no matter which religion you subscribe to, you may also want to ensure that your kids grow up tolerant of the spiritual tenets that others follow. Unfortunately, this can be rather difficult to accomplish. Children that have been raised with one set of religious beliefs may have trouble reconciling what they’ve been taught with the existence of other religions. They might not understanding why others don’t believe the same things they do. But as a parent and the main source of spiritual guidance for your kids, there are things you can do to make the process easier. Here are just a few tactics you can try when it comes to helping your kids learn to respect the religious beliefs of others.

The first thing you’ll want to do is talk to your kids about other religions. They’re bound to have a lot of questions and you can be the one to address them. If you don’t know the answers, you can always ask your own religious leaders for information, or do a little research on your own. When you have a better understanding of world religions, it can only help you when it comes to having this complicated conversation with your children. Plus, it can’t hurt to practice what you preach. When we don’t understand something, it’s easy to discount. So it’s important that you take the time to learn at least a little about other religions and why people feel so strongly about them. Of course, your own faith can also inform you here; since you know what it means to hold strong beliefs you can see where others are coming from where their particular religions are concerned.

You can also take your kids to talk to your spiritual leader. Many religious figures are not only aware of other world religions, but they may have taken the time to study theology or specific religious practices as a way of better understanding their own beliefs and how they overlap with other forms of worship throughout the world. If this is the case, they should be able to offer some assistance when it comes to teaching kids that tolerance and respect are important, even if they don’t necessarily believe the same things that other people do. This country was founded on the principles of freedom, particularly when it comes to religious beliefs. So children should be mindful of the fact that just as they have the right to follow their religion, others have the right to their own beliefs.

Finally, you might want to consider the prospect of teaching little angels in your household about other religions not through words, but through experience. You can do this by approaching other religious leaders in your community to find out if it is possible to sit in on their gatherings so you can show your kids that despite the fact that religious beliefs differ, we are all just people trying to find spirituality in our lives. Putting real, human faces in the place of a concept is perhaps the best way to teach children that respecting the beliefs of others and exercising tolerance for other religions is both necessary and right.



  1. vickie couturier says

    ive had this discussion with a few of the grandchildren,they didn’t understand about the jewish holiday or kuanza,,I know I missed spelled that,,but the point is that its okay to be a different color an its okay to have a different religion,,you don’t have to agree with it but you do have to respect their rights to believe as they choose

  2. This is a great topic. So many kids miss this lesson growing up, and with the entire world intertwined, we’re now paying for the consequences of that ignorance. Thanks for writing this!

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