There are certain concepts that are difficult to explain to children. I have struggled with how to explain death, war, and religion. I’ve wondered how to most effectively teach kindness and empathy beyond just the basics.
Respect is another big life concept, and one I did my best to teach on a recent Tuesday evening. However, fortunately for me and my children, my husband picked up where I left off.
My husband, Glen, went to a Pride rally at work and brought each of our kids home a flag. The kids were excited to wave their flags and march around, but wanted to know why the flags were rainbow instead of red, white, and blue.
I explained that these flags represented that we should treat everyone equally, that you can be who you are, and that you can love whoever you want to love. Certainly, it was a bit simplistic, but they are in preschool.
The kids liked that answer and kept waving the flags until they got distracted by something else, like kids do, and dropped them on the floor.
Glen quickly picked the flags up and stopped them both in their tracks. He told them that we do not let these flags hit the floor. Like the American flag, we respect these flags and everything they stand for.
It was a short statement, delivered with both heart and authority. And it made an impact. They each picked up their flag, and viewed them differently. With reverence.
As I reflected on his words and actions, I felt deeply that that was the kind of world I wanted to live in.
That’s the kind of world I want for my children.
A world full of respect for each individual. Respect that comes from a principled place, that’s ingrained in our being, that’s held up high.
Beautiful respect. Awe-inspiring respect. Respect that fills our hearts with joy.
Like a rainbow.
This story originally appeared on With Love, Becca
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