Monday, April 18, 2016

Who Knew? I HAD NO IDEA!

My sole motivation for writing 'Preschool Friends A-Z Around The World (Together In Peace And Harmony, Book 1)' was to expose young children to diversity in an environment that was both inviting and safe. What else could fit those criteria more appropriately if not a preschool classroom? In my new release, children of different ethnicity, culture, and race are viewed doing everyday activities that your little ones perform all the time. One child is playing with a dolly, two are enjoying a snack, two boys are dressing up as 'dads', and one girl is on the playground swinging to the sky. When children witness others playing the way they do, strong bonds are formed, and differences are totally ignored.

By teaching preschoolers to embrace rather than fear diversity, we are actually putting them on the path to reaching world peace in their lifetime. You may think this is a huge overreach, but I adamantly believe that this seemingly impossible task will only be achieved one relationship at a time. And when youngsters learn that difference is beautiful,they will be more drawn to it. I truly hope that the children of tomorrow will live in peace and harmony, and that perhaps I helped contribute to their phenomenal future in some small way. I could then leave this world a very happy lady!

But something unexpectedly happened with the writing of this book, something I had no idea that it could effect. Since I dedicated it to my youngest grandson, Gabe, and to all the children of the world, I sent the first copy to him for his third birthday. My daughter said he carried it around all day asking her to read it at least 712 times! Now I know she was exaggerating, but Gabe is one of my biggest fans, so she probably wasn't that far off the mark!

That evening while all the kids on the street were riding bikes, catching ball, and pretending to be woodsmen, my daughter presented 'Preschool Friends' to the neighborhood moms. After leafing through the pages, they started a serious discussion on how little if any diversity was present in their own elementary and high school experiences. Most stated there might have been one or two African-
Americans in their classes when they were teens, but none when they were in grade school. Forget about any kids of Spanish, Indian, or Russian descent, they simply were a non-entity.

The ladies talked about how unfortunate they felt not having the opportunities to make friends with folks of different ethnicity, culture, and race. They speculated on how much they could have learned and how much more enriched their lives could have been if only diversity were a part of their growing up years.

After we finished our phone conversation,  I thought about what I'd just heard. My little children's book wasn't just for kids as I'd originally believed. 'Preschool Friends' is a must read for parents as well. The adults have just as much to learn about diversity as do their children simply because as children they, too, were never exposed to diversity in an inviting and safe environment. By reading it over and over again with their youngsters, they'll come to the conclusion that it is their responsibility to connect with others of diverse backgrounds for the sake of everyone involved. They will realize that they have the duty to educate their sons and daughters to embrace diversity rather than fear it. By doing so, the parents as well as their children can feel good about being forerunners in the quest for living together in peace and harmony!

Who knew? I HAD NO IDEA!


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