logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Moms Site

BellaOnline's Moms Editor

g

Helping Children Celebrate Differences


Children are innately keen observers of the world and when they see something out of the ordinary, they’ll say so. As a parent, this can be excruciatingly embarrassing. Our children tend to speak loudly – “Mommy! That girl doesn’t have a hand.” They also point. “Mommy – why is that man so small?”

Even adults are curious, perhaps compassionate, as they look the other way but steal frequent, quick glances. Are we extending ourselves into the lives of others – wondering what it would be like to live a life different than we know? Do we consider offering a helping hand but hesitate concerned of the line that exists between kindness and pity?

It is the things we are not often exposed to that seem out of the ordinary to us. What seems strange and unusual to one person is “just how it is” for another. It can be as simple as a name or as complex as a life-altering disease. Within the Jewish community where I live, for example, people often name their children with Hebrew names. Those names sound odd and difficult to pronounce – until you become accustomed to them. Then you forget about the oddity of sound and pronunciation. Exposure.

Exposure is the key to helping our children overcome the differences they notice in others. Whether it is religious upbringing, physical distinctions, or academic capabilities – children should be taught to understand, respect, and accept the differences in others.

We all have differences or as Meg Zucker says, “we are all born lacking”. Some of our differences are easily visible and some could never be guessed. Meg Zucker is the superhero behind Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It, an online space where children, teens, and adults can flaunt their differences. She encourages people to write down their flaunts and share it with others by submitting their stories to her website.

Her blog of flaunts is there as well. Meg was born with ectrodactyly, a condition involving the absence of digits on the hand and foot. Meg has one finger on each hand and one toe on each foot. She shares her life experiences to inspire others. One of the most powerful messages I gleamed from her site is “What you think of me is none of my business”.

Why is it that our children not only point in curiosity but bully and tease someone who is different from them? How can we help our children around the awkwardness of differences?

Attitude Your attitude is going to impact your child’s beliefs. We all adhere to stereotypes and prejudices. We all make judgments on a daily basis. Make an effort to adjust any stereotypes you cling to. Demonstrate tolerance for others even when you are passing judgment.

Respect Teach your children to value and demonstrate respect. This includes how we talk about people, whether they are with us or not, and not pointing at people in public. Instruct your child on how to approach someone and have a conversation if they are curious about a “difference” they see.

Celebrate Each of our children have something that makes them different from others. Each of our children has something that is “lacking”, as Meg Zucker says. What is it that causes your child to stick out? What is it that your child tries to hide from everyone else? Let us help our children to celebrate who they are and not be reluctant to put their differences out in front of everyone else.

Self-Confidence When our children have a solid foundation of self-confidence, it does not matter what others think of them. Furthermore, a child who has a strong self-concept does not need to waste his time picking on other children. Help your child’s self-image by giving her opportunities for success and positive feedback. It is also important to let her experience failure so that she can see she has the ability to overcome it.

Celebrating differences is a value that begins in the home. When our children are not exposed to others who are different than they are, those differences will stick out awkwardly. To help your child feel comfortable about sharing his differences or approaching someone who is different than he is, teach him about the uniqueness that is within each of us.

Encourage him to invite his differently abled classmate over for a play date. Help her to ask the questions that are on her mind. Watch movies and read books that will help broaden your child’s understanding of people’s differences. Help your child learn to celebrate diversity, have compassion for, and honor others.


Add Helping+Children+Celebrate+Differences to Twitter Add Helping+Children+Celebrate+Differences to Facebook Add Helping+Children+Celebrate+Differences to MySpace Add Helping+Children+Celebrate+Differences to Del.icio.us Digg Helping+Children+Celebrate+Differences Add Helping+Children+Celebrate+Differences to Yahoo My Web Add Helping+Children+Celebrate+Differences to Google Bookmarks Add Helping+Children+Celebrate+Differences to Stumbleupon Add Helping+Children+Celebrate+Differences to Reddit




Random Acts of Kindness for Families
Teaching Children Values
Teaching Children Gratitude
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Moms Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Lisa Polovin Pinkus. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Polovin Pinkus. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Polovin Pinkus for details.

g


g features
Things We Miss From Children's Younger Years

Age Appropriate Chores

5 Ways to Make Time for YourSelf

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor