Ask your kids questions.
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Roncone: "Ask kids questions early on. If they're 3, 4, 5, you're going to get a funny answer. But you're encouraging them, a) I want to actually hear what you think about that that, and b) getting them to think: 'I don't know, what do I think about that?'"
Let children learn on their own, even if they explore something different from a parent's tradition.
Poling: "My second son became real interested in some kind of a pagan thing, became interested in Buddhism. So I talked with him. 'What's the interest there?' I tried to talk to him about what interested him and not be afraid of it."
Double-check sources of information.
Kelley: "I tell kids to dig, dig and dig more. Chances are there other opinions. They tell me, 'This guy said it.' Well, who is this guy? Where did he get his information from? Go deeper. Eventually, you'll have an origin for it."
Admit when you don't know the facts.
Heller: "I'll admit, there are things I don't know and I can't completely understand. And there's nothing wrong with that, provided you can be honest with yourself and say I don't know."
Encourage kids to take responsibility for their beliefs.
Roncone: "It's hard to really do that self-responsibility, and not just blame it on bad luck. I think it's the overall, consistent message you're sending. When something bad comes your way, are you throwing your hands up in the air and saying, "It's someone else's fault! The universe always dumps on me!" instead of taking responsibility and saying, "'How do we handle this? How do we move on with this?'"
Don't mislead your kids.
Poling: "We're not even aware of the times we use a child for our purposes. We tell the child a reason why they can't do something, not because it may be bad for them, but because we don't want (them) to do it. It's inconvenient or something."
Look for things that don't fit existing beliefs.
Heller: "Look for the anomalies, and ask, is this just a random coincidence that happened or does it indicate there's a bigger issue underlying the topic? Maybe we don't know as much as we think we do."
Encourage kids to question authority figures.
Heller: "We look at experts in one field and we think we can follow them in every field. As brilliant as Einstein was, should you trust his political beliefs or his opinions about art?"
Apologize to your child when you get something wrong.
Poling: "As a mentor or parent, it's really a power relationship you have with that child. (Be) able to ask for forgiveness. (Be) able to acknowledge your mistakes. (Be) humble enough to say, 'I blew it. I messed up. I'm sorry.' That kind of humility is what we need in these relationships, because we're not always going to do it right."
Show that it's OK to change your mind.
Heller: "Knowledge and certainty aren't one and the same. Our knowledge seems to change over time. With technological developments comes an increased ability to gather evidence and examine that evidence, so our beliefs have changed. Things we believed to be true once upon a time aren't necessarily true any more."