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    3. How do I talk to my child about the importance of secularism, especially in a city like Hyderabad where Hindus and Muslims live together in harmony. Lately, my little one has been asking questions about why one religion is better than the other.

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    How do I talk to my child about the importance of secularism, especially in a city like Hyderabad where Hindus and Muslims live together in harmony. Lately, my little one has been asking questions about why one religion is better than the other.

    Team ParentCircle Answered by Team ParentCircle


    Dear Parent,

    It is wonderful that you want to teach your child to be secular and tolerant from an early age. You are fortunate to be living in a city that offers exposure to different religions (research says that the earlier children are exposed to diversity, the better)--utilize this by talking to her about the different festivals that people of each religion celebrate and their significance. This will help her understand and appreciate diversity in how people pray and what they consider auspicious. Read her diversity-themes stories and books, such as 'Its okay to be different, 'It's a small world', and 'All kinds of families'.

    Look at your own surroundings- are you friends with people of diverse backgrounds? Help our child develop tolerance by talking about diverse cultures and different points of view. Talk about role models (heroes of different religions and backgrounds) who are inspiring and who we can learn from. Another way of encouraging your child to be secular is exposing her to other people by involving her in sports, after-school activities, clubs, and camps. All of these serve to introduce children to people and ideas they haven't encountered before. Also, practice what you preach. If your child hears you talking about another religion negatively, she is likely to mimic you. Help your child embrace her own background (including her religion and culture)- when your child accepts who she is and feels positively about it, she is much less likely to view others who are different as a threat.

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