When Rabia Ahmad was eating dinner a restaurant, she noticed a dad sitting with his two daughters nearby. She could overhear their conversation and was fascinated by the little girls' inquisitive nature.
The children were asking their dad about everything — including about what Rabia was wearing. This Muslim woman continued to listen in as this father carefully responded in a way that warmed her heart and taught his daughters an important lesson. Rabia recounted his poignant answer on Love What Matter's Facebook page: "There are different religions and cultures and languages. We have to learn about them."
He then shared a personal experience with his girls about when he traveled abroad and learned to speak Spanish. This encounter reminded Rabia of a Harvard University study that found that not only do children who are exposed to racism tend to accept and embrace it when they are as young as 3 years old but this can happen in just a few days.
Instead of perpetuating hatred or feeling awkward in the situation, this dad used his children's curiosity as a powerful learning opportunity. "This is how you teach love, acceptance, understanding and respect. It starts from an early age," Rabia wrote. "Kids listen and imitate their parents' views and behaviors. You are their role model."