Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 2018

Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Like so many other notable freedom fighters, Dr. King desired for all people to have the freedom to live in fairness and justice. If you’re a realist than you fully understand that Dr. King’s “I have a Dream Speech” is still a goal that we all must work hard to make happen. It begins with each individual and how we teach our children to live in their own lives. Here are 5 ways that we can teach our kids to live the “I have a Dream Speech” today:

  • Don’t limit your children’s friendships based on ethnicity – It’s hard to believe that in 2018 there are still some parents that have a hard time with their children building friendships with children from other ethnic backgrounds. Children are innocent and have no concept of inequality until it is actually experienced or taught. Yes, I will teach my children that people will treat them different because of their complexion, but I will not limit their interaction with other people based on a fear of them being mistreated.

  •  Acts of Service – Postive ways to remember and honor Dr. King’s mission is through acts of service. There is no age boundary or ethnic divide on doing something kind for someone. There are many ways that you can show acts of service whether in your community or worldwide. Find a way to serve your community today.

  • Share Positive History with your children – America is a melting pot that was built on the backs of so many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds for free. Don’t limit your child’s history out of fear that they will disinherit their own cultures or ethnic backgrounds. If you’re unsure about where to start, a book about American inventors and inventions is a great place to begin.  Ask your child what is his or her favorite food, or gadget is and together you can research the inventors or inventions. This is also a great learning opportunity for you, your child, and it happens to be a lot of fun as well.

  • Listen to the “I Have a Dream Speech” together – If you’re the parent of a child in Elementary school, chances are they will hear or watch the famous speech from Dr. King at some point before leaving 5th grade. Why not let the first time be with you? We always underestimate our children’s understanding because of their ages but give them a shot. Don’t expect them to listen to it in its entirety, and definitely be prepared to paraphrase for them. You can listen to it here.

  • Allow them to learn from other children – Many times children can learn important life lessons from their own peers. Teachers use this method during group dialogue. It gives each child a chance to voice their opinions on a matter and gives everyone an ability to hear how their peers feel. Teachers guide the conversation to maintain fairness and respect for everyone. SoulPancake and Shemaiah Joy TV are YouTube channels that offer videos with educational messages about Dr. King’s mission of equality for all people.

Carmen 

 

 

 

 

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