Tuesday, September 18, 2007
International Peace Day
Dr. Montessori's son Mario Montessori once said, "During the formative period, when soft clay is being molded and impressions are easiest to make, children are impressed with the greatness of certain persons. Those persons may be described as heroes or supermen who have sacrificed their lives (literally or metaphorically) to a sacred cause. In every child's mind is fostered the desire to imitate those persons or become a follower of someone like them."
Who will our children's heroes be? Superman, GI Joe, Barbie, The Cast of the High School Musical? Or Martin Luther King Jr., Helen Keller, Nelson Mandela, Rachel Carson...Maria Montessori?
In my opinion we have a responsibility to our children to expose them to the amazing and inspiring men and women who have come before us, who have been role models, sources of inspiration and educators for many. On this the International Day of Peace, I ask you to evaluate who your children see images of, hear stories about, read about each day. Look around your home and see, are these peacemakers mentioned above represented in your home, in a book, on a poster?
My 9 year old son's bedroom has many inspiring pictures for him to look at. The largest of which is a painting, I painted, of Spiderman. I can't paint over it now, for he would be heartbroken but I can share with him about the peacemakers that inspire me and his father, and I can listen about why he likes Spiderman so much. I can hear his voice and I can listen. Then we can have a dialogue about heroes and the people we like and why. It's a starting place on this important day. I'll let you know how it goes. I hope this post encourages you to do the same.