Teaching Your Child About \"Civil Rights\"

Posted on: Sat, 07/03/2004 - 3:18am
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

I must tell this as I feel it will help others!

We were eating dinner last night and the news was on.
One of the topics was Civil Rights 40 years ago.
The news had a (please [b]NO ONE [/b]take this personally)black women talking about 40 years ago she could not ride the merry-go-round with other white people because she was "black". She had to sit on the bench and wait.

My 8 year old dd says "that is not right".
I took this as (her mind is ready to talk about civil right.)

I explained to dd that 40 years ago (blacks)had to set at the back of the bus,and
that in some cases could not even get on the buses.We talked about how blacks had to sit in the back of a restaurant and at times were not even aloud to eat in places.She says" that was [b]mean![/b]I took this as she is ready to learn about Civil Rights.

I explained to her that every one has RIGHTS
regardless of race, color, religion and so fourth.as we went on I explained race,color black, white,mexican religion if you belive in god or not,christian,Jew and so forth.

And then we talked about disability,I said just because someone is in a "wheelchair,or is blind does not mean they cannot eat out or take a elevator.We as a socitey have to help people to access this areas.I said in the case of a wheelchair we need to build ramps so wheelchair bound adults and child can access the building,we need to widen the bathroom so they can use them.In cases of blind people(one of there grand parents is blind)we use brail in elevators so as to access the elevator.I told dd these are called "accomadations".

At this time I decided to use Little V's story to help her understand.

I said your sister has a disiability "a hidden disability" you can't see her disability until she has a reaction,that is why it is called a "hidden disability" never the less [b]she as the same rights as you and your brother[/b] she has the right to get a education and to attend school the same school as you.But your father and I have
to make sure she has "accomadations" so she can go to the same school.I said this is why I have some many meetings with you principal,so we can make sure she has a safe inviroment.I said some of your sisters accomadations we are asking for from your principal are:Peanut free classroom,and setting in the lunchroom and making sure Little V is allowed to participate in all activities,and that the school does not give her any PEANUTS or FOOD!
I went on to say that your principal has helped us in so many ways and we are very thankful.

At this time my 8 year old says"I told my principal and teacher on the last day of school "Thank you very much for good school year"I said you did!I had to hold back the tears!I am sooooo very proud of my children.

I went on to say that if you broke your arm you should still be allowed to do PE,but and dd says "light PE" I said yes good example.

At this point I tried to talk about the holicost,after seeing the look on her face and fear in her eyes I decided to STOP, she is not ready for this(another time.)

We ended it with me asking do you remember the black lady that did not get to ride the merry-go-round as a result of that and many other people being deined there rights,laws where put in to place 40 years ago to STOP discrimating agaist people,and it took 40 years before this black lady got to ride the merry-go-round.

Children are like [b]sponges[/b].
Try to watch for the door to open to [b] your childs mind[/b] and then be ready to give them the information,slowly and know when to stop!

I hope in some way this will help others.
Thanks
Love this site
Synthia

[This message has been edited by synthia (edited July 04, 2004).]

Posted on: Sat, 07/03/2004 - 3:30am
KarenH's picture
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Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

Synthia, I've had that discussion with my son too.
Once he was talking about war all the time, like little boys do. He seemed to think it was "cool", and all he would do is play war-ds and I are very against our son playing violent video games, or with toy guns, etc. So I took him to the museum, which had a display about war orphans from WW2. When he saw the items there, and heard what had really happened, somehow war wasn't so "cool" anymore. His eyes filled with tears and he asked if we could leave. We did-but he never forgot it.
He's also learned about civil rights through being learning disabled, and seeing us advocate for him to use technology as an aide with his writing. This is one thing I found very interesting though. Dh was going to university at the same time, and he has dyslexia. The university bent over backwards to accomodate dh. However, ds's school had to be threatened with a lawsuit before they'd accomodate ds. Ds said to me, "Mom, how come only grown ups get help when they are learning disabled, and not kids?"
omg. That is so true. Somehow, when you're a grown up and say "I have an ld", people are quick to accomodate you. If a child has one and can't express it like that, they are immediately labeled as a behavior problem and told they're bad. Broke my heart. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 07/03/2004 - 3:39am
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

KarenH
Makes you wonder,does it not?
WE as parents have a LOT of work to do!!!
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Sat, 07/03/2004 - 9:45am
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Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

I would think that in this day and age, with all the knowledge people have, that they would have more compassion and willingness to help children rather then ignore their needs. It just blows me away. I so don't understand it.

Posted on: Sun, 07/04/2004 - 12:42am
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Joined: 03/26/2001 - 09:00

Finally read it synthia...talk to you soon. Cindy
Maybe we should write a kids book to explain this better to all our kids..what do you think???

Posted on: Sun, 07/04/2004 - 1:22am
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Love this site
Synthia
edited to find the right smiley
[This message has been edited by synthia (edited July 04, 2004).]
[This message has been edited by synthia (edited July 04, 2004).]

Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2004 - 7:18am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Synthia, I'm really glad you shared that!!! Your dd sounds like a caring and perceptive child - and you are a great mom!!!
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2004 - 12:25pm
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

Thank you!
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Wed, 07/07/2004 - 8:24am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Great story Synthia!
Those of us in the "over 40 club" remember some of those times. We have come so far, but still have a ways to go. It's easy for our kids to take where we are now for granted. Thanks for sharing your story. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Amy

Posted on: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 1:14am
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by KarenH:
[b]Synthia, I've had that discussion with my son too.
However, ds's school had to be threatened with a lawsuit before they'd accomodate ds. Ds said to me, "Mom, how come only grown ups get help when they are learning disabled, and not kids?"
omg. That is so true. Somehow, when you're a grown up and say "I have an ld", people are quick to accomodate you. If a child has one and can't express it like that, they are immediately labeled as a behavior problem and told they're bad. Broke my heart. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img][/b]
Oh boy Karen Thank you!!(((Hugs to your ds)))
------------------
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 4:31am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I must admit, I haven't really talked to DS yet about civil rights. I don't think he's quite ready yet. But DD, on the other hand...very fair skin, green eyes, blonde hair in other words, as caucasian as you can get), and fortunate enough to have never been not accepted. Her very favorite hero? Ruby Bridges. For those of you who don't know the name, Ruby Bridges was the little girl who was the first black girl to go to her school in New Orleans. Her attendance caused a boycott of the school by the white parents, as well as daily protests outside the school for the whole year. She needed to be escorted by federal marshals. How DD, with all her privelages, always being accepted, can relate so well to Ruby Bridges is beyond me. But it makes me very proud.

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