As kids prepare for “Back to School” they worry about classes being too hard or what’s being served for lunch … but they also worry about people being nice. Kids shouldn’t be afraid to go back to school, but many are. Kids should be excited to see friends, but many fear they won’t have friends and that they’ll be bullied… because of differences. I try and teach children that everyone has differences and everyone has similarities, but the world keeps focusing on the differences and making people feel that different is bad. I’m not going to turn this article into a political debate, but I am going to say that Mi Families programs are open to all families (and those who work with families).
Everyone has differences. Some differences are easy to see in the color of ones skin, by noticing someone in a wheelchair, or watching a family enter a specific church. We make assumptions based on the differences we see. Some differences are harder to see because we can’t see inside ones mind, know what their passions are, or if they are feeling ill. Everyone has differences, but everyone has similarities. We are all human – we are animals, since we are not plants or minerals. We breath, we think, we feel… We can feel our differences, we can feel when people are not nice to us. We can feel when someone doesn’t accept our differences or our struggles.
We all have struggles, we could all be given a label for our struggles. Our labels could be based on physical, mental, emotional, or medical struggles. Some people focus on struggles, on what is different or challenging – instead of what is amazing and accomplished and what is strong about each person. Each person, every person on this planet, has something awesome about them. Every person has something they can add to this world and make it a better place. Each person can help another find their strengths instead of focusing on their struggles, on their differences. Each person can unite others by finding similarities and deciding to stand on common ground together.
Together we can take a stand and make sure kids feel safe in our homes and in our programs. Together we can teach kids to stand and feel confident in who they are. We can teach kids to encourage each other by adults showing kindness to each other. We don’t have to always agree with each other, but we do have to live in peace with one another if we want a peaceful future for our children. We do have to show respect for others and thank heroes who work towards peace and safety. Respect those who try and help others. There is a reason there are more superhero movies being made every day – our kids ask for hero movies and toys and stories because they want to believe people will help, like superheroes.
Today I had an interesting discussion with some students about superheroes. Superheroes like WonderWoman led to hero’s who do not have super- powers like doctors who take care of people, vets who take care of animals, even garbage men who take care of our trash! Yes, the garbage guys emptying our dumpsters are heroes. Many kids love watching the truck pull up and wonder where it goes. After discussing how picking up trash makes our world more peaceful they decided garbage men belonged on our hero list. Anyone who helps other people, other animals, our plants… anyone who helps the earth and cares about making our world more peaceful ended up on our hero list.
As we finish “Hero Camp” at Adventure Academy we prepare for our “Back to School” theme about me, my family and friends. We are discussing ways we can be helpful to others and what kind of community jobs we can do to help our small corner of the world. Adventure Academy encourages kids to use their strengths and interests no matter their struggles or differences. Every child that attends feels they have something to offer our team. Adventure Academy is just one of Mi Families programs. Mi Families (“my families”) LLC offers programs for youth, parents and providers – and anyone who participates is a part of our family tree / team.
In my home, in Adventure Academy classes, in any Mi Families program there is only 1 rule for participants. Be nice. Be nice to people and things. Do not hurt yourself or others, or even the supplies we’re working with. Don’t hurt means don’t physically hurt or even say hurtful things. Don’t hurt means help. Be helpful, kind, considerate, respectful… Recently I was asked what I wanted my children to become when they grow up – I think the person meant career wise, but I can’t choose the career that will make them happy or feel accomplished. I can encourage them with their strengths and interests and talents and passions. I can encourage them and teach them to be responsible for themselves, and respectful towards others.
I teach my own kids and my students using various curriculums chosen based on multi-stage adaptability, open ended learning materials and also how respectful the curriculum company is towards others – One curriculum I use is Mother Goose Time. Mother Goose Time product images are posted in this article. If you’d like more information on their curriculum CLICK HERE. If you’d like more information on Mi Families CLICK HERE. If you’d like to participate in our programs or enroll your child at Adventure Academy please email Christi@MiFamilies.com. Feel free to email me with any questions and find us on social media sites to network with our families or team members!