It is a Presidential Election Year, and incivility is all around us. Talking heads scream at each other on the TV. And pundits and bloggers snipe mean-spiritedly at the candidates and each other. One thing is lacking: respect for others and tolerance for different viewpoints.
The political atmosphere can make it difficult to teach your children the importance of consideration for others and the necessity of taking responsibility for how our actions and our words affect others. That’s why I was intrigued to see a press release about Liberty Mutual’s The Responsibility Project.
The motto of the Responsibility Project: “We believe the more people think and talk about responsibility, the more the world becomes a better place.” I wholeheartedly agree. The Responsibility Project has short films, blog discussions and resources for parents intended to spark conversations with children and teens about personal responsibility.
“Dinner for Two” is a short animated film that will get your young children talking about sharing and peaceful conflict resolution.
Older and middle school aged children will enjoy watching “The New Boy.” In this film, Joseph is the new boy in class at an Irish School. Joseph has recently moved from Africa, where his father was killed. He is tormented by a class bully until the boys bond over a shared moment of laughter. This film gives parents the opportunity to talk about bullying and about the importance of kindness. The bully keeps telling Joseph “I’m going to kill you,” but he doesn’t realize how much these words hurt someone who has experienced tragedy like Joseph. Watching and discussing this film with your kids could spark a conversation about how to help a student who is being bullied or why words can hurt others.
As parents, it is our responsibility to raise kind and caring children. Books, movies and even websites like www.theresponsibilityproject.com can help.