Posts Tagged ‘Child’
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It has long been said that America is a giant melting pot of people of different races, ages and religions. People come to America from all over the world seeking better opportunities for themselves and their families. In fact, most American families can trace their family history back to ancestors who immigrated for these same reasons. Many countries throughout the world are now experiencing this same melding of cultures and beliefs.
These patterns of immigration continue to increase, creating a wonderful diversity in cities and towns across the world. Adults experience this daily in their dealings at work, at the store and online. Most have developed tolerance and acceptance of the ways their world is changing and the new people in their lives. Others are not as comfortable with our changing societies, especially if they have not had much prior exposure to different cultures, religions, etc.
Consider that children are having these same experiences with diversity at school, on their sports teams and in other organizations or locations where they interact with others – and that they may not have the necessary skills for being respectful of other’s differences.
Teaching tolerance to children is as much a part of a parent’s job as teaching the child to walk or tie his or her shoes. Tolerance is just as important to a child’s future success as these other things are. The ability to be tolerant of others can lead to more opportunities in business, in education and in other areas of life. The good news is that many children are hard-wired with the ability to accept others for who they are, and they are regularly exposed to diversity from a much younger age than their parents ever were.
Teach your child to be tolerant, and you have taught him or her a skill to last a lifetime.
Most parents worry about their child being bullied. They talk to their children about how to stand up for themselves, how to defend themselves, how not to be a victim. But most parents don’t think about the opposite side of the situation unless they are directly confronted with it – they don’t know what to do when their child is the one doing the bullying.
It can be very upsetting to learn your child has been bullying others. What do you do? How do you handle this situation?
The most important thing to do, the experts say, is to address it immediately. Try to understand why your child is bullying others. Some kids do it because they feel insecure. These children seek out and pick on others that they think are weaker than they are, so that they can feel better about themselves. On the other hand, some children simply don’t realize that it is not an acceptable behavior. There are other reasons this behavior may occur as well. A good plan of action is to speak with your child’s teacher and counselor to try to understand the situations where the bullying behavior occurs. If it is possible for you to observe your child in the classroom setting unobserved, this may give you some insights as well.
Once you have an understanding of what is going on, talk to your child about the behavior. Help them comprehend that bullying is wrong, and teach them the proper way to handle situations where the bullying occurs. Explain the concepts of tolerance and equality to your child in language he or she can understand, and model this behavior. Kids learn how to interact with others by watching their parents.
Don’t rule out the need for professional help and guidance if these techniques don’t work. Your child can learn to be a good citizen and a good friend. It will just take some effort on your part, and some time.
How often have you done it? How often have you at least thought about it? Perhaps you are walking down the street and you see a homeless person. Maybe you are at the grocery store and you see someone who appears to have very little money, judging by the condition of their clothing. Maybe there is a child in your child’s class whose hair is a little too long and whose clothes are not always clean. What do you do? You look away, or you walk away.
Why? Being poor is not contagious, but so often people behave like it is. Rather than reaching out to give a helping hand to people who so obviously need it, people are more willing to turn away and pretend like people who are not like themselves do not exist. Sadly, these people do not realize what amazing life experiences and friendships they are missing out on.
There is an amazing depth your life can develop when you not only help people who are less economically fortunate than you, but you build friendships with them. There is something lacking from life when the only people you associate with are people just like you. People who read the same books, watch the same shows, think the same thoughts – have the same socio-economic background.
Take the step today to meet someone new – someone who isn’t exactly like you. You don’t have to develop an instant friendship, but do be open to making acquaintances. You can start by striking up a conversation with that person at the grocery store. Or, you might choose to volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Remember that child in your child’s class? Consider calling that boy or girl’s parents and setting up a play date. These small steps can impact your life in very positive ways.
People’s viewpoints on every subject that exists differ. Always. It’s a no-brainer.
If you want proof, gather ten four-year-old children and ask them what makes a rainbow. Every child will immediately respond . . . with a different answer. Each small child will know his or her own perception as the only real that is beauty. It is their moment. Who are we to take that inspired moment away?
Still not convinced? Think about the way you experience a movie next time you are at a theater and look around to see various reactions. They will all differ to a degree. We enter that theater to enjoy a slice of life we can’t live ourselves. We are there for our moment. It’s personal.
You were born and raised in the country. By six at night the world is silent and on a clear night, every star can be seen. In fact, you tend to go out late at night and spend a full hour looking at the constellations. There are no ground lights to make the moment fade. You can smell every living plant and crickets are heard if the night is warm.
You were born in the city. You take in the occasional professional baseball game with the ten dollar slice of pizza and the seven dollar beer! It’s worth every dime to have this at your fingertips. You adore the ballet, the symphony and the night life. Jazz cafes at midnight with the neon lit streets. It’s your rainbow. When you walk into the street, you hear couples gabbing and the music of five different clubs is blaring its echoing call to dance.
Who is right? Or does right exist? What seems ever so distasteful to you may be the most correct thing in another person’s life, and if the difference in tastes does not include damage to another person’s freedom or safety, are you in a position to judge the needs and joys of another?
We are all children, experiencing different rainbows. Allow the colors. It makes for diversity that makes being human sacred.