Raising An Inclusive Child

It made me realize that it all starts with us. The new generation of parents who are raising our children with more involved fathers. The parents that are raising their children to be inclusive.


 

Inclusive? The word was never in my vocabulary. Or it probably was and it never popped in my head, let alone stay there, giving me pause as I wonder why the world itself isn’t more inclusive.

The definition of inclusion according to Merriam-Webster is the act of including : the state of being included.

You can’t blame the current generations for where we are today. It’s been an issue for quite sometime. It’s been an issue really since the dawn of time. People who didn’t make as much money were low-class working people. If you didn’t practice a certain religion you were persecuted against and son on.

But times are (or atleast should be) different. In an age where finding out who a person is, could be as easy as doing a Google search and find out what you can, or what the person will publish on the internet. You would think that people would be more accepting of other people’s cultures.

It is anything but that. There is so much hatred in the world today. There are so many mass shootings along with wars because someone doesn’t like how the other person chooses to practice his or her’s faith.

When I took my son to school the other day, I saw something that made me pause. It made me realize that it all starts with us. The new generation of parents who are raising our children with more involved fathers. The parents that are raising their children to be inclusive.

 

I walked the my son into school, scanned my finger to check him in, and walked him into his classroom. I had heard about this new kid in his class. A friend who didn’t speak English, and only spoke Spanish. It reminded me of when I was growing up. One of my best friends was Hispanic and didn’t speak much English when we met. Yet, I included and accepted him and we were best friends through high school. I still follow him on Facebook and wish that I would have taken the time to learn his language.

As we walked into his classroom, this friend of the Rookie’s, all of a sudden put a huge smile on his face and walked up to the Rookie, and the two of them embraced in a hug. I’m not exactly sure what brought on the hug. I can’t tell you if was because my wife took some books to school that had both English and Spanish words in it to help the child learn English. I can’t tell you if it was because my wife and I were raised to be inclusive. I can’t tell you if it is because we are raising our son to be inclusive.

It made me understand that raising an accepting and inclusive generation starts with us. We can be the role models that will mark change. We can tell our children that even if someone doesn’t believe the same thing that we believe in, that it is OK and it doesn’t make that person a bad person. While people may look different, act different, have a physical disability, or what have you, it doesn’t mean that we should not include them in our day to day activities.

It all starts with us. If we as parents are able to show that being inclusive and accepting of others it will happen as the generation we are raising will see what it means to be human. It won’t happen overnight. It might not happen in our generation. But if we can set the example we can change future generations and raise a more inclusive world.

The Rookie Dad

The Rookie Dad is father of 2, husband, TV Producer, runner, and co-founder of Dads Round Table and a contributor to Traveling Dad and Good Men Project.

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