With so many stories about intolerance and hate dominating the news cycle, parents have started attending protests with their child in tow. Making your voice heard is also a learning opportunity; a chance to prove there is still some good in the world and how children can learn to contribute to it. So parents shouldn't be caught off guard if, after attending a protest, they notice a few subtle clues their child is a future activist.
Being an activist doesn't always have to mean marching in the streets and protesting outside of building, which can be a scary endeavor for some parents. There are things your family can do that may seem small but can make a huge impact on helping to make the world a better place for future generations. One of the best ways to promote activism in your children is to lead by your own example. Teach your children to respect other's differences, aid those who are less fortunate, and use their voice to help those who can't always speak for themselves.
If you're doing any of the things on this list, good for you. If not, there's no better time than right now to start with some age-appropriate lessons that will help your children make the world a better place.
1You Talk About The Issues
When you see injustice, you don't look the other way. You talk to your children in age-appropriate terms about the situation. You can help children make sense of what's going on by answering their questions and talking to them about ways they can be engaged and help fix the problem, according to the Los Angeles Times .
2You Teach Them To Respect Other's Differences
Whether it's at school, on the playground, or in their own families, your children will likely encounter others who look different. You can talk to them about those differences while promoting respect and understanding at the same time. One of the best ways to teach tolerance is to encourage your children to choose their friends by what's in their heart rather than their race, gender, or religion.
3You Encourage Them To Stand Up For Others
The Centers for Disease Control and Department of Education report that nearly one in three students report being bullied at school. These statistics mean it's likely that your children are either the victims of bullying or know someone who is affected. If you're raising an activist, you're advising them against bullying and encouraging them to stand up to bullies who are trying to hurt others.
4You Encourage Positive Role Models
Your children's views will be influenced by teachers, coaches, and even celebrities. When you're looking for mentors for your children, it's important to recruit positive role models and put them in situations where they will hear messages that are in line with your family's views, as HuffPost mentioned.
5You Teach Them To Give Back
You don't have to go far to find others who need help. Whether it's donating their clothing and toys to a local shelter, spending time with seniors at an assisted living facility, or making care packages for service members abroad, you can teach your children that they have the power to make a difference in the lives of others.
6Their Toys Are Diverse
You're fortunate to be raising children in a time when popular toys and television characters come in just about every color of the rainbow. Don't just give your children toys that look exactly like them. Encouraging your kids to play with toys, read books, and watch television shows that contain a diverse set of characters, is a simple way to expose them to other cultures.
7You Treat Men & Women Equally
One of the best ways to promote gender equality in your home is to remove unnecessary labels. You can teach your children that things like "boy colors" and "girl toys" don't exist. And if your daughter would rather play soccer than dance ballet, you let her know that you will be in stands cheering her on.
8You Lead By Example
As a parent, you are your child's first teacher. Their beliefs and values are being shaped by the things they observe in their own home. This is why it is so important to make sure you are setting a positive example of tolerance and inclusion.