In the “Me Generation”, it sometimes becomes hard to think of others. Self-involvement takes center stage and kids grow without a sense of collectivism, or a thought for the greater good. But it is 2015, and in this day, raising children with the right social awareness about equality, race relations, and diversity is important, albeit a little more complex than what they learn in school. But the truth is, it starts at home. The lessons you give your child one-on-one supersede anything they will learn in books. Because those lessons build character. Time for you to step up and make sure the lessons you’re feeding them build a socially responsible character.
Teach What They Don’t Teach at School
Schools may give your children a particular set of skills that will help them get jobs later on in their lives. And that’s great, too. However, a lot of schools skim out on real life training and knowledge. For example, history lessons in schools are generally centered on white, male heroes unless special occasions such as “Black History Month” call for some diversity in this understanding. This is where you step in and teach your kids about the unsung heroes. Talk about influential women of color, or discuss communities that those history books have left out.
Practical Lessons in Sharing
It is very important for kids to realize that they are way luckier than a lot of people living in this world right now. Although lessons on privilege are much more multitier, this seems like a good place to start. Thus practical lessons in sharing include sharing what they have with people that have very little. Let them be the ones to pick out clothes from their closet they don’t need any more to place in a local charity. Ask them to pick out books from their shelves that they’ve already read loads of times and give it to someone else.
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Treating Everyone the Same
As your kids grow up, they will start to notice that not everyone is treated the same. People are discriminated against because of their skin color, disabilities gender, religious beliefs, preferences and much more. Different treatment takes the form of slurs, hate speech, being followed around in grocery stores, or being denied service in restaurants. It is in instances like these that you should teach your kids why treating people differently is bad and what they can do and say to treat everyone the same. Being thoughtful about what to say to people counts for a lot—just ask parents of kids with special needs.
Describe News Events in Simple Ways
In the same way, kids are bound pick up on the things that are happening around the world, and question them all the same. For example, what happened in Ferguson sparked a conversation on police brutality and race relations. So when your child brings up something they heard on the news, make sure you ask them how they feel about what they heard. Explain these events in simple terms—perhaps by likening them to something that they could relate to in schools or in television shows. All of which would contribute to a better understanding of the world around them.
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