This week’s earlier post, A Letter to Mamas Parenting Children with Disabilities, has gotten a lot of attention. Parents raising children with disabilities have commented and shared their hearts. One thing that’s surfaced is the need for parents to teach their children to respect and care for all people.
I have to blow my son’s horn for just a minute! In our family we have talked about the value of all people and I’ve tried to prepare my kids for different situations and relationships. Max has two children in his class with autism. I was recently asking him how one of the little boys was doing, he had been struggling in the class room. Max beamed and told me he was doing great. He proceeded to champion each victory, sitting still, not hitting, and tell about the rewards his friend had gotten because of his improved behavior. I’ve never heard Max say anything negative or demeaning, he accepts his friend the way he is and celebrates what he accomplishes. I’m thankful for my son’s open, loving heart. But that’s not always the case with children at school or in public.
Have you talked to your children about how to interact with and value elderly people, people with disabilities, people of other races or religions? It’s our responsibility as parents to teach our kids how to treat others. They will take their lead from our example.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
How we love matters. Let’s pray that our children will develop tender, compassionate hearts.
Father, thank you for setting the standard of love, that while we were in need you showed us grace. Help us to reflect your grace and kindness to others because we’ve experienced it for ourselves. We want to teach our children that all people are valuable. Would you soften their hearts to be receptive to our instruction. Give them eyes like yours to see beyond the exterior of a person and right to the soul. We pray that they would be leaders wherever they are, setting the tone as they interact with others. Give them kind eyes, inclusive words, and a gentle touch. When a person is being teased give them courage to stand up and defend. Amen.
How are you teaching your children to value people who are different than them?