paper note with writing 'Don't judge a book by the cover', pinned on cork board

Every day we are exposed to many different people. Some of these people will be like us who are like us and some won’t for several reasons; because of how they look, how they speak, their accents, their mannerisms etc. There are no two people that are the same, although there are similarities.

Often when we meet someone new we tend to judge. Who is this person? We listen to how they speak – their tone, their accent, the words they use and we judge them. We look at what they are wearing, their hairstyle, make up, their skin and we judge them.

We can make many judgements in a split second about someone else and we may be wrong, so it’s really unfair to do this. So how can we stop judging and how can we parents stop our children from doing the same?

How To Stop Judging

As well as trying to be role models for our children by not judging people on first impressions, we can teach them to see the person and not the outer layer.

Encourage your child to talk to people and get to know them, despite them not liking one of the things they see or hear. We need to teach them not to judge a book by its cover! Why? Because having an accent different does not make someone ‘chavvy’, ‘common’ or ‘posh’. You can still be friends with someone from a different social background.

Wearing clothes that aren’t that fashionable does not mean the person doesn’t care about themselves or has the ‘wrong’ taste. Or kids may think certain clothes signal wealth (or lack of), so would avoid those wearing different styles.

Judging the outer layer only often happens when children are looking to make friends. They see the exterior and say ‘this person is not for me’ or ‘they are not like me’. They are often surprised when they start talking to find that they are actually their kind of person and have the traits they may be looking for in a friend.

So, let’s hold the judgment about others and start with the dialogue first!