When the child (referred to in post S) was not allowed to play football because the boys considered football to be a boys’ game, or when the friends in the play area ridiculed the boy for the minimal possessions, how should children be encouraged to voice-out their stance?
V – Encouraging children to Voice-out against discriminations
Post #22 of the series: Instilling Social Equality in Children
Make children aware of fair treatment and discriminations
Well, first of all, when discriminations happen, children should be able to identify them. Like how we teach them good touch and bad touch so that they will come to recognize one on the event of happening, we should also raise their awareness in how everyone needs to be treated fairly without discriminations. It should be a part of family conversations.
Encourage them to report discriminations to a trusted adult
When they bring a concern to you whether you are a parent, another family member, neighbour, or a teacher, have your ears, heart, and mind to listen to them. Avoid dismissing their emotions or normalize that it happens to everybody, else they are not likely to consider disclosing emotions in the future.
Show them to voice-out
When you spot a discrimination happening around, take your child and talk about it with the people involved. If it is among the children playing in the park or within a classroom, we need to be a role model to them by taking the responsibility to politely enquire, listen to both sides, and advice from a justice point of view. The more we come out of the what is my problem attitude, the more children are likely to voice-out.
Talk to them about the strength in standing for each other
By the time our lives will come to an end, the adults of tomorrow should be there for each other. Organize groups events or activities among them to demonstrate how strong everyone would feel if people stood united for a cause rather than singling out with pride and ego.
Emphasize in developing a voice of their own even if they seem to be standing out from the crowd
If we look back of those moments when we wanted to voice-out but didn’t, it would be mostly our fear in being an outlier and about the possibility of being rejected by the crowd that we chose to stand with the herd instead. Most of the social revolutions in history happened because someone stood out to voice-out that something needs a change. If it’s for a good cause, don’t introduce in them the fear of being dismissed by others. Allow them to speak their mind; allow them to build that voice of their own; don’t limit them to be puppets of other people.
As said in every other post, as adults we have the choice in what we are whispering to their hearts.