Teaching our Children to Keep the “Dream Alive” with Kindness
There are plenty of ways to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day during this long weekend. Events to keep the “Dream Alive, “ are important; However, after the celebration is over let’s make sure our children know first the history of the holiday, and second the responsibility, character building and citizenship of giving to their community.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal as well as state law. In his “I Have a Dream” speech he raised public consciousness and became one of the greatest speakers in U.S. history. King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination. At the time of his death in 1968 he had refocuses his sight on ending poverty. His focus was on helping people in his community and beyond.
Soon after King’s assassination the campaign for a federal holiday to honor began. It was promoted by the labor unions in contract negotiations. The King Center turned to the corporate community and the general public for support.
November 2, 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill, proposed by Representative Katie Hall of Indiana, creating a federal holiday to honor King. On January 20, 1986 the holiday was first observed.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday seems like an appropriate time to teach our children the art of giving to their community.
Some ideas you might like to began with…
· As your children out grow toys, games and clothes, decided how you are going to pass them on to others who are in need of them, together. (Younger relatives, community centers in need.)
· Show your child you care. Whether you can give an hour a day or an hour a month, let your child see you volunteer. Bring your child along as extra hands and let them see the smiles on the faces of the people you are helping.
· Demonstrate how valuable their talent is by using there talent to help others. Your budding chef can bake a cake and take it to a Senior Citizen Center. Your little artist can deliver her paintings to a nursing home to brighten walls. Homemade cards can brighten a soldiers’ day.
· Picking up litter, giving love to pets in a shelter or have them read to a younger child.
· Use the news carefully with your little ones. Many children respond enthusiastically but very emotionally to crises like earthquakes, hurricanes and other disasters. They hear about them and feel helpless and scared. Talk with your children about ways that your family might be able to help.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday is a perfect day to find ways for your children to focus on the needs of others. Teaching them, like King they too can make the world a better place.
Wishes for Peace,