Children need to have their natural sense of empathy fostered and encouraged. They need to be taught to see other people's points of view. It is important that the consequences of their actions are explained to them in terms that drive the point home.
Until we know who we are and where we stand on these issues, we cannot give clear messages to our children about conflict, violence, or gender stereotypes. Once we know where we stand on these issues, we can begin to educate our children. If they are 'different' because they are peaceful, we can feel confident that we did our best to stand by what we believe is right.
"Wow, were we wrong in our perceptions!" I exclaimed to my partner who is also from the USA. He was as embarrassed as I was at our obvious stereotypes. As I listened to the presenters, I realized that people from all over the world made the same mistakes and shared similar perceptions. This moment was life changing for me. "
Children may not have the word for what they are feeling, but they may recognize the emotion in the expression on a child’s face. Ask children to point to the face that best expresses their own feeling. Give them the label for that feeling, using it as a springboard for discussion.
We are our students’ role models. We want to be the best role model we can be! We can when we take the time to reflect, change what is not working or what we don’t like, and grow from the experience.