In the next few weeks many children across the country will be returning to school. They will trade lazy days by the pool with ABC’s and 123’s. Such is the “circle of life”. LOL!
Academic learning is very important as we all know. It’s difficult to get through life without knowing the basics. Not only that you need a good education if you want to make something with your life. As much as children whine and complain about tests and homework in the end they will realize that it was all worth it.
In addition to a good education children should also be taught some important “life lessons” too. Things like showing others respect, accepting people for who they are including all their quirks, and be kind to one another.
I am a firm believer, and practitioner, of Random Acts of Kindness. I try and do at least one random act of kindness daily. I have encouraged my children to do that same.
It’s important for me that my children accept people in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, abilities and differences. Just because someone looks or acts differently doesn’t make them any less of a person. I also ask my children to think about the other person and try to imagine being in their shoes. No matter our differences are we are all people who live, breath, laugh and love.
Netflix has an original series called Derek. It’s from the creative mind of Ricky Gervais. This mockumentary-style comedy-drama is all about acceptance, no matter age, abilities or quirks. Ricky plays the role of Derek, a nursing home employee who is able to see the good in everyone. He’s almost too kind. Derek himself is socially awkward. One might think that there may be something “wrong” with him but the reality is that he’s just a gentle soul who cares about the people he cares for in the nursing home and his fellow employees.
I’ve watched a few episodes. It’s funny but at the same time kind of sad. It’s more along the lines of “dramedy” (drama/comedy).
So far my favorite episode is episode 3 from season one when a teenager comes to fulfill some community service at the nursing home. My favorite line from that episode is when she’s asked “Do you read?” to which she replied “Yes”. She was then asked “What do you read?” and the teen replied “Twitter”. LOL! That sounds like a teenager.
In that episode the teen girl was initially put off by the elderly people at the nursing home. She seemed disgusted by them (such as changing their bed sheets). You could tell she did not want to be there. Then one day one of the elderly residents complimented her on her nails. That made the young girl warm up a bit and soon she found herself enjoying her time with the elderly people. She found them fun and interesting where as originally she saw them as gross and pathetic. She learned to open her eyes (and her heart) and accept the residents for who they really are and not what she assumed they were.
I don’t think this show is for young children. There are a few crude parts that I’ve seen thus far (rarely but there are parts not suitable for young children).
Netflix has plenty of great films that help teach children about acceptance and empathy. Here are a few examples you might want to consider watching with your child. I think these films are a great way to get a conversation going about accepting, kindness and empathy towards others.
Films/Shows for older children.
Films/shows for younger children.
1. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Vol. 1 Ep. 6: Friends Help Each Other
2. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Season 3, Ep. 4: One Bad Apple
3. Arthur, Season 15, Ep. 8: Muffy’s Classic Classy Club / Best Enemies
4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
5. Super Why, Season 1, Ep. 61: The Ugly Duckling: Becoming a Swan
6. The Fox and the Hound
Why not pick a few of these shows or movies and have a family movie night?
No family movie night would be complete without a yummy snack. Try something different. Instead of popcorn why not bake Salted Caramel Monkey Bread. Mmmm! This looks so good!
It’s always fun to do a family activity together. Check out this Kindness Punch Box. This is a fun way to introduce acts of kindness to your children. Plus doing a craft together is a great bonding experience.
To learn more about Netflix and their programming visit www.Netflix.com. You can also find the brand on social media.
How do you teach kindness, empathy and acceptance to you children? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.
*I was not compensated for this post. I receive a free membership in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.