It is more important then ever to discuss with your kids how negativity and hate can be destructive. Don’t wait until they experience one of these situations to educate them on what to do.
Here are some tips to help.
Educate: It is very important to educate your child why people can be negative or hateful toward others. Don’t be afraid to look for age appropriate books or online resources that help with their education. Kids often want to know why people do things. Bringing in outside resources can help them understand the history of negativity and hate along with the problems it has caused.
Address: No matter how uncomfortable the situation might feel, do not avoid the topic. Kids have an automatic “I don’t want to talk about it detector.” If they know you are avoiding the questions because you don’t feel they are ready for the truth or it makes you feel uncomfortable, they will lose faith in you for future questions and important topics. If you need help answering their questions reach out to local community leaders or friends you feel confident can help.
Don’t Fight Hate with Hate: This can be a tricky one, but you have to take the high road. Kids are smarter than adults give them credit for. If you explain or justify one hateful action or mentality with another, you will mostly like leave them confused. You don’t won’t your child to lower themselves to someone else’s level.
Second, most haters want to get under your skin and bring you down to their level. Some of the greatest leaders in history always took the higher ground and this resulted in more support for their cause and messages.
Some People Won’t Change, so Move On: Make sure your child understands that you cannot always change people’s views and that is on the other person. Be the best person you can be based on your values and do not be afraid to move on. Sometimes you have to separate yourself from the haters or the people who don’t follow the same values.
Surround Yourself with Positive People: Find activities for your child that will build them up and support them for their individuality. Kids should learn to appreciate everyone for being different and having unique qualities. Martial Art Instructors and a lot coaches/instructors can be positive influencers. Just make sure you pick the right ones.
Remember the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Just make sure you are picking the right villagers to help.
If you are interested in contacting Brad Fantle for speaking engagements you may reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is a 7th Degree Black Belt with Tiger Rock Martial Arts, has 25 years experience working with children and teaching self-defense, and has a BA in Sports & Fitness from the University of Alabama