When we think about the world today, what we have and how we are going to leave it better for our children and the future generations of the world, we have many things to consider. Topics such as the environment, global warming, depleting natural resources and animals that we once enjoyed that one day will be available only through imagery and books. These things we have little control over, we can each do our part to make our footprint even smaller.
What if our goal was not to see how we can stop destroying something, but instead, our focus was on making it better? We can have a better world, a better planet, a better chance at survival for future generations and it starts here with you. You have the power to make future generations more empathetic, more understanding and more considerate of the differences between us one child at a time.
It is true what they say, that children learn from the environment around them. Have you heard the phrase that kids are like sponges? They soak up everything around them - good/bad/indifferent. What we show children will impact the people they will become so it starts at home, it starts with you.
Being a parent or a role model does not have to mean that you are perfect, many of us are not and that is ok. It is ok, if we try constantly and tirelessly to be better, to do better and to be that change we want to see in the world. If we are kind to others, respect cultural differences and cultures if we embrace what it different instead of ridicule it and ostracize it, then as a result our children will be more tolerant and more compassionate.
Dr. Foster Cline a renown child and adult phycologist and co-creator of parenting technique that we are a fan of; Love & Logic says that everyone (children & adults) learns one of two ways:
1) Through Experience
2) Through Example
Experience referring to time, when you grow up you inevitably have more experiences and therefore more opportunities to learn these lessons and example is learning from someone else's mistakes and being able to avoid the pitfalls ourselves.
The best way to learn is through repetition, we may not have the opportunity on a daily basis to show our children kindness and compassion, but we can show them through the story telling we share with them. Here are 5 wonderful books that we recommend to help build a good and helpful person.
1)The Empty Pot by Demi. This is a story about truthfulness. An emperor gave seeds to all of the children in the kingdom, stating that the one with the most beautiful flower would inherit the kingdom as his heir. It is a story of truth and honesty and how ok it is to be different.
2) A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, is a sweet story about a man and the animals that he cares for. He gets sick and is not able to see the animals he cares for so much and they go to visit him in his time of need.
3) My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems, When Elephant Gerald is feeling blue, and his friend Piggie does everything possible to make his friend cheer up. Piggie pretends to be a robot, a cowboy and a clown just to cheer Gerald up! We are HUGE fans of Mo Willems and his children books.
4) How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tim Rath, Mary Reckmeyer and Maurie J. Manning. This book is about our invisible bucket that when you are happy it is full and when you are sad it empties. It is a story about a child who wants others to be as happy as they can.
5) Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. It is a sweet story about two friends who show compassion for one another. It is a beautiful story of friendship and kindness.