40+ Children’s Books about Human Rights & Social Justice, by Monisha Bajaj

download

Young people have an innate sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair.  Explaining the basics of human rights in age appropriate ways with stories and examples can set the foundation for a lifelong commitment to social responsibility and global citizenship.

As a parent to a preschooler and a professor of peace and human rights education, here are my top picks for children’s books that discuss important issues—and that are visually beautiful. Some of the books listed offer an overview of rights; the majority show individuals and organizations past and present who have struggled to overcome injustices. All offer different levels of child-friendly images, concepts and text.

montessori-quote

With my son who is 3, sometimes we will skip certain passages or pages, but introducing him to books like the ones listed below that include characters of different races, religions, genders, abilities, sexual orientations, and other backgrounds at an early age will hopefully lay the foundation for deeper engagement with these texts and issues later on. Lately, he has been making tea in his play kitchen for Martin Luther King Jr. and the other day asked about Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren.

Some of these books are on our shelf at home, others we have found at the library or at friends’ houses.

What’s on your list of go-to books for talking about human rights and social justice issues with your children? Let’s keep the list growing in the comments section below!

**These books should be easily searchable, and I’ve created a book list on Amazon.com atthis link with all the books mentioned in this post.

The Right to Equality & Peace

1. We are all Born Free by Amnesty International

About the basics of human dignity as elaborated in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

2. Whoever you Are by Mem Fox

About the common humanity we all share regardless of race, color, religion, nationality, gender, ability or sexual orientation

3. Can you Say Peace?  By Karen Katz

A book about how peace looks in different countries around the world and a celebration of September 21 – the date the United Nations has declared the International Day of Peace

4. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

A colorful board book with an introduction to speaking up and acting for social change whether related to LGBTQ rights, racial justice, or sustainability.

The Right to Education

5. Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

About the landmark 1947 case fought by a Latino family to desegregate whites-only schools in California that served as a precursor to the Brown vs. Board decision in 1954.

6. Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan: Two Stories of Bravery by Jeanette Winter

About two young advocates for educational rights who were both attacked in Pakistan—Malala Yousafzai and the lesser-known Iqbal Masih. While Iqbal didn’t survive the attack on him, Malala went on to advocate for the right to education for girls worldwide and win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

7. The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

About a young woman at the forefront of school desegregation in 1960 after the Brown vs. Board. The book shows her fortitude in enduring harassment from angry mobs to get a quality education.

8. Waiting for BiblioBurro by Monica Brown (author) and John Parra (illustrator)

Inspired by the real-life story of Luis Soriano, who started a mobile library with donkeys carrying hundreds of books over long distances for children in rural areas of Colombia.

The Right to Migrate and Seek Asylum

9. Mama’s Nightingale by Edwidge Danticat (author) and Leslie Staub (illustrator)

Written by award-winning Haitian-American novelist, Edwidge Danticat, this book is about a family separated by the U.S. immigration system and how love transcends borders and orders of deportation.

10. Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatiuh

Young Pancho the Rabbit misses his father who has gone north and sets out to find him, but encounters a coyote whose help comes at a high cost. This book introduces the hardships that thousands of migrant families face.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.niahouse.org/blog-fulton/2016/11/3/40-childrens-books-about-human-rights-social-justice

Advertisements

How to Get Kids to Listen To You and Do What They Are Asked To, by Cally Worden

Child sitting at kitchen table looking angry with mother watching on

Can you imagine how simple life would be if your children just did what you asked of them, when you asked it?

Better yet, what if they would do things they are supposed to even before you had to ask them?

No argument.

No battle-of-wills.

Wouldn’t it be nice?

Before I discovered the joys of positive parenting I wouldn’t have believed this was even possible.

Back then, I couldn’t even figure out how to get kids to listen to me, let alone get them to do what they were asked. Even simple requests for a specific action or a change of behavior from my kids could oh-so-easily escalate into monster power struggles.

And frankly, it was wearing me out.

Here are just four of many simple requests I can recall that got totally out of control – I’m sure they will sound familiar in various ways:

Me: Can you please bring your cup through to the kitchen?
My Daughter: In a minute Mom … (and she is lost in the TV program again)

Me:  Kicking your sister is not okay
(Cue defiant stare and a sneaky swift kick to his sister’s ankle.)

Me: Time to clean up kids, could you please clear the coloring things away?
My Daughter: Why should I? They’re not all mine!

Me: We don’t play with the knobs on the cooker, it’s dangerous
(30 seconds later little fingers have fiddled again.)

Each time, my hackles rose, my inner power-switch flipped to ‘On’. I’m in charge here right? I would assert my authority (via a raised voice, angry stare, threats of time out, and so on).

And I would eventually ‘win’.

But when we were done and the tears had dried, I would feel wretched inside. And my weary brain would crave relief and I would wonder – Is it bedtime yet?

It was a hollow victory.

My kids were sad. I was sad.

Sure, they jangle my nerves sometimes, but most of the time, they are fun, loving and amazing kids. I didn’t want to spend their entire childhood looking forward to bedtime. I wanted to spend time with them and enjoy it.

So I got to thinking – is there some other way to get them to listen to me and do as they are asked without all this stress and drama?

Thankfully, there is. And it works too.

Armed with my action plan, scenarios like these not only arise less often but when they do, they are quickly and quietly diffused into a peaceful mist of calm. Well, more often than not. We don’t always hit the target (hey, I’m human too) but our home has been transformed by this fresh approach.

To be the peaceful, positive parent you’ve
always wanted to be, get our FREE mini-course
How to Be a Positive Parent.

Below, I’ve put together a list of what works for us. Take a look and see what you think. And throughout, remember that you don’t need to raise your voice and gear up for a fight to get your kids to listen to you. You don’t want to be an opponent. What your kids need is an ally. A calming presence. Assume that role in your head, and you will be ready to address their need.

Here we go –

1: Employ Empathy

Stepping into your child’s shoes may feel like the very last thing you want to do when your own personal focus is on your desire to arrest a behavior, or to get something done.

But step back from that a moment and think about it.

You are focusing on your agenda — the desire to get what you want, to the exclusion of what’s important to your child in that moment.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://afineparent.com/positive-parenting-faq/how-to-get-kids-to-listen.html

6 Ways We (Accidentally) Teach Our Kids Rape Culture, by Joanna Schroeder

A cute 5 year old female child dressed in pink plaid shirt with blue jeans staring out into the rodeo arena dreaming of riding horses one day. The image has a vintage / western coloring theme with left side copy space.

No parent (that I’ve ever met) would ever dream of teaching their child that rape is okay. But every day, in many different ways, well-meaning parents contribute to rape culture, and our kids suffer for it.

As moms and dads, we probably don’t talk directly about rape to kids, at least not until they’re older. But we’re still sending messages about sex and consent all the time. Because of that, we need to make sure we’re not teaching them some very dangerous lessons, even if just by accident.

Here are six (very common) ways we get it wrong, and how we can do better …

1. Telling our kids that “boys will be boys.”

As a mom of very active boys, I know most people don’t mean any harm when they say “boys will be boys,” but too often that phrase is used to excuse bad behavior, like hitting other kids or being destructive.

The truth is, boys are perfectly capable of respecting other people’s bodies,possessions, and space. But every time they hear us excuse their bad behavior as part of boy life, they learn that they are not only above the rules, but also that boys cannot control their impulses.

This message will stick with them as they grow older and sexual desire starts to kick in. As parents, we cannot be shocked that boys feel entitled to sexually harass others (whether it’s standard rape, like in Steubenville, or as part of the all-too-common tradition of sexual “hazing”) when we’ve been telling them their whole lives that they are above the rules, by virtue of being boys.

2. Forcing kids to hug and kiss others.

Lots of well-meaning, loving parents tell their kids to give a friend or relative a hug without considering whether their kid really wants to. This sends the dangerous message that consent can be over-ridden, or doesn’t matter at all.

Instead, suggest a few different ways to greet or say goodbye to loved ones. I ask my kids, “Do you want to give grandma a hug, or maybe a high five or a wave goodbye?”

Kids need to know, from the beginning of life, that consent matters.

 

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.babble.com/parenting/ways-we-accidentally-teach-our-kids-rape-culture/

Helping Siblings to get along…. using photos and/ or videos! By Jim and Lynne Jackson

there-can-be-only-one-sibling-rivalry-13

Ever feel like the moments where your kids actually like each other are few and far between? Or like deep down they love each other, but they forget as their connection gets lost in the shuffle of sibling conflict and craziness?

Lynne was worried about that very thing when parenting her three intense kiddos who fought all the time — so she decided to change the narrative and help her kids remember that they like each other, all with the use of photos! Watch the video to hear why and how she did it:

Quick Notes:

  •  Capture (via photos or video) moments when kids are loving, enjoying and caring for each other.

(To read more, follow the link below…)

http://connectedfamilies.org/2015/12/18/how-to-help-kids-like-each-other-with-photos/?utm_source=Parenting+Tips&utm_campaign=17c8caf731-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9761ad5dc1-17c8caf731-59227453

0ef11d3

How to Foster a Positive Self-Image in Your Child (in a World of Social Media Pressure), by Jean Merrill

Autumn fun - lovely girl has a fun in autumn park

When you think of your sweet child fending off social media pressure, does your heart nervously flutter a little?

Does the thought of these negative influences leave you hoping (praying) they’ll solidly, confidently, know themselves and the RIGHT thing to do?

Can we give them the tools to see through negative influences with superman-like laser vision?

Peer pressure is reaching new levels of influence in this digital age, where bullying can happen behind the veiled, impersonal curtain of an electronic device.

By the time our children have their first Facebook account, we hope to have instilled in them enough of a sense of self that they can objectively evaluate any peer-to-peer situation. We hope that they already have a strong foundation in communication skills, and firm grasp of their personal values. We hope that they internally know the right things to do, and are confident in the courage of their convictions.

This will give them the voice required to face interpersonal challenges and the ability to stand up for themselves, and those around them.

We can help our kids develop that strong sense of positive self-image. By starting early, and with a few language tricks, we can plant deep roots from which a strong, independent, confident, sense of self will grow.

Self-image in Toddlerhood. Is that a “Thing?”

Self-image is definitely a “thing” is toddlerhood, and *gasp* even before!  According to Dr. Sears, in his piece 12 Ways to Raise a Confident Child, it is never too early to start, and the sooner the better.  He states that the lack of a positive self-image often leads to behavior problems, and that “In the early years, a child’s concept of self is so intimately tied up with the mother’s concept of herself that a sort of mutual self-worth building goes on.”

So, start with your own sense of self worth.

*Groan* I know, but stay with me here… in the middle of the exhaustingly intense infant and toddler years, taking some time to work on yourself can be a key element in the long-term positive esteem for your whole family.

(To read more, follow the link below…)

http://afineparent.com/strong-kids/positive-self-image.html

How to help your teen build esteem, by Brenda in Canada, from her blog “I’m Confident”

Teens

Every new school year is the start of something different and for many teens it is the start of more problems.  They are already experiencing drastic changes in their bodies which can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.  Added to that are overwhelming pressures to become that ‘perfect’ and ‘beautiful/handsome’ person so they will be accepted by their peers.  Teens start looking around and comparing themselves to actors, actresses, models and the kids that have been labelled ‘popular’.  They believe that everyone else is better looking, smarter and has more friends.  They seen themselves as inferior and unworthy.   These untrue beliefs cause them to put their value in how they look and what they have instead of who they are.

We should never measure ourselves against other people because we are all unique individuals.  We can’t possibly be the same as somebody else and we are not supposed to be.  Many of the people we are comparing ourselves to, are often very insecure about themselves.

Teens need to develop confidence and increase their self-esteem so they will be able to stand up to negative peer pressures and make good choices in life.  As parents, we can help our own children and any teens we are connected to.  Here are some ways that we can help them build esteem:

  1. Show love – Take very opportunity to show how much you love your children.  No, they don’t just know!!! You have to tell them and show them.  A child who feels loved at home won’t go looking for love in all the wrong places.

(To read more, follow the link below…)

https://imconfident.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/how-to-help-your-teen-build-esteem/

5 Ways to Give Your Children a Voice, by Rachel Macy Stafford

Listens

By Rachel Macy Stafford 

1. Stop moving and stop doing when they speak to you

By looking up from the task at hand and looking into your children’s eyes, you are indicating you value their thoughts, no matter how trivial. This provides both a foundation and an invitation for more difficult conversations as they grow.

* Tip: If your days are full and you cannot give your undivided attention whenever your child speaks, make sure there is a time of day when you can be ALL there. Maybe it is at bedtime or right afterschool.

When my older daughter was 3 she began asking for “talk time” at night. It involved ten minutes of her asking innocent questions and telling me trivial things and me giving her my undivided attention.

She is now 12 and we still have “talk time” every night. As one would expect, the questions and topics have become more serious, and I am grateful to be part of the conversation.

2. Respect their words.

Maybe it takes time for them to put their thoughts into words. It’s okay; you don’t have to finish their sentences—they will come. Maybe their opinion is completely nuts. It’s okay; you don’t have to agree. Maybe they remember something differently than the way you do. It’s okay; you don’t have to be “right”. By giving them the time and space to share what’s on their hearts, you are strengthening their voice.

3. Let them speak for themselves whenever possible.

When my children have something they want to tell the coach, the waiter, or the sales clerk, I first let them practice what they want to say and then they are encouraged to speak for themselves.

I will never forget when we were sitting at my child’s fifth grade parent/teacher conference and the teacher asked if we had any concerns. My daughter quietly spoke up to say she loved helping her classmates but there was one student who made her feel very uncomfortable.

(To read more, follow the link below…)

http://kindnessblog.com/2015/08/27/5-ways-to-give-your-children-a-voice-by-rachel-macy-stafford/

How to Talk to Little Girls, by Latina Fatale

GIRLS FY

I went to a dinner party at a friend’s home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time.

Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, “Maya, you’re so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!”

But I didn’t. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are.

What’s wrong with that? It’s our culture’s standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn’t it? And why not give them a sincere compliment to boost their self-esteem? Because they are so darling I just want to burst when I meet them, honestly.

Hold that thought for just a moment.

This week ABC news reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. In my book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, I reveal that fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s next top model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart.

Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.

That’s why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows.

“Maya,” I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, “very nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too,” she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice.

“Hey, what are you reading?” I asked, a twinkle in my eyes. I love books. I’m nuts for them. I let that show.

(Read more by following the link below…)

http://latinafatale.com/2011/07/21/how-to-talk-to-little-girls/

How to Be a Positive Parent Even if You Weren’t Raised by One, by Amy Greene

What-is-Positive-Parenting-Main-Poster-_63421316_XL

Do you ever feel doomed to being just like your parents, even though you’re trying hard to do better?

I know how hard it is to try being a positive parent when you’ve been raised in a punitive home.

Like me, you may have grown up in a home where spanking, hitting, yelling, or shaming were the main “discipline techniques.” And now maybe you’re horrified to find yourself resorting to these techniques, too.

I lay SweetPea down on the floor to change her diaper. Immediately she twists her hips to flip over so she can crawl away. Clenching my jaw, I flip her on her back again and try to distract her with singing, but she is intent on reaching her activity center. Unbidden, the image of my hand slapping the soft, tender flesh of her thigh flashes through my mind.  I take a deep breath. I acknowledge my own frustration. I decide she and I both need a break from the struggle. “We’ll try again in a few minutes,” I say as I let her go and she happily crawls away.

My impulse to lash out comes naturally to me; I absorbed it from my parents.  I’ve spent the last 15 years as a teacher and nanny learning how to react differently and overcome these unbidden impulses so that I don’t pass them on to my daughter.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to take you 15 years to start becoming a more positive parent! I’ll share with you how I healed from childhood wounds and techniques you can use now to re-write your parenting scripts.

Choosing a Better Way

Re-creating the same negativity is not our destiny; we can choose a better way to raise our own kids.

The question, of course, is how?

Despite our best intentions, the things our parents said to us often become the same dreaded words we say to our kids.

(To read more, follow the link below…)

http://afineparent.com/be-positive/what-is-positive-parenting.html

 

“Like a Girl”: how one company decided to break down the limitations society imposes on girls, resulting in a video which went viral…

Always & FY

By Kirsteen McLay-Knopp

Do we limit girls and tell them what they should or shouldn’t be?   Do we box them into expected roles?

A logo for the US feminine hygiene company "Always".

A logo for the US feminine hygiene company “Always”.

“Always”, a feminine hygiene company in the USA promotes education about the menstrual cycle and fields questions from girls and young women related to this.  In 2014 “Always” created an ad campaign designed to, of course, promote their products, but also to break down the barriers of the limitations society imposes on girls.  The company did this by asking a range of girls and young women, of varying ages and ethnic backgrounds, whether they felt limited by society’s expectations and stereotypes of girls and women and if so, how.

The answer was shocking: 72% of girls said they DO feel society limits them – especially during puberty – a time when their confidence totally plummets. “Always” decided to begin what they call an “epic battle” to keep girls’ confidence high during puberty and beyond.

The original #LikeAGirl social experiment by “Always” started a conversation to boost confidence by changing the meaning of “like a girl” from an insult to a compliment.  That conversation turned into major movement sweeping the globe.  Interestingly, boys as well as girls, became interested in the campaign and agreed that many of these stereotypes, as well as others about boys and men, were damaging.  One of the original “Always” ads can be viewed here:

Following on from this, “Always” sought to empower girls everywhere by encouraging them to smash limitations and be Unstoppable #LikeAGirl. 

Always say that, “For more than three decades, we’ve made it our mission to empower young girls worldwide by educating millions of them about puberty and their cycle, so they can feel confident – any day of the month. Together, we’re making great change happen.”

Watching the videos created for this campaign is a great way of encouraging discussion among children and young people about gender stereotypes and gender roles, expectations and socially imposed limitations… a great one to share, to strengthen our daughters in their “Forever Years”.

Find out more at http://always.com/en-us/about-us/our-…
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/always
Twitter – http://twitter.com/Always

download (3)

Related Links:

http://www.people.com/article/like-a-girl-always-ad-unstoppable

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11716710/LikeAGirl-Unstoppable-Always-video-Girls-feel-pressure-to-be-girly.html

http://www.buzzfeed.com/laurasilver/smashing-the-patriarchy-like-a-girl#.cgGV61emAd