Are We What We Look Like?
Talk to your child about appearances and whether we can tell much about a person by the way they look. Are we just what we look like? Or are we really much more than that? How do others get to know us – who we are, what we like or don’t like? Is it just by looking at us, or by talking and spending time together?
Discuss with your child how we all naturally form first impressions. Ask if they ever had a “first impression” of someone at school. Did they think that someone would not want to play sports because she was a girl? Or that someone would be a smarty-pants because he wears glasses?
Share with your child a story from your own experience of a time you met someone and made an assumption, only to find out later when you got to know the person that they were different than what they “looked” like – we all have a few of those stories! (Note: you might need to explain to your child that to “assume” means to think something is a fact without checking it).
Talk with your child about how they can enjoy themselves and the people they meet more, by being open to getting to know them before deciding what they are like.
What is a Community?
It is very interesting to ask your child who he thinks “we” are … “we” can be a family, a group of friends, a school, a church. Talk to your child about how your community makes up an important part of you and your family’s identity.
Discuss different communities and their special characteristics with your child – different churches for example, different celebrations, how some communities and people keep different festivities. Help your child understand that each community has it’s own valuable traditions. Talk about how important it is to be interested in and appreciate the DIFFERENCES between communities, and also about how to find things that are the SAME between communities. For example, Christians celebrate Christmas and Jews celebrate Hannukah, but both Christians and Jews teach their children loving-kindness and generosity.