Ethics For Children, Tweens & Teens

Here, young humans empower their ethical development, create life-long freindships, and stand up with care and courage for a GOOD WORLD in action.

Friendly Familial February

What does NORMAL mean to you? When do you use that word in relation to children? Sometimes it is used to coach parents in seeing whether their child lines up with the expectations our culture has for kids of a certain age.  It helps problems become identified, at best, to be helped.   But, the myth of A NORM often oppresses people -- including children--  invisibly and pervasively. It supports notions of uniformity that defy a value of the wide diversity of human expression and developmental pathways.  It often, unintentionally perhaps, communicates a false deservedness and superiority, everywhere from the workplace to the playground. It makes people hold themselves and one another in comparison to some external standard, that is usually rife with cultural biases.  It reifies prejudices and stereotypes by upholding singular values, and culling ideals around individual embodiment -- everything weight, height, skin color, accents, clothing... etc.

Individually, the internalizing of norms can propagate self-objectification and internalized oppression.  On the playground, norms can create dynamics of popularity and conformity.  Educationally, the negative repercussions of these normatizing pressures, may be addressed in anti-bully curriculums and skill building about mutual wonder, curiosity and individuality.

At NYSEC we are addressing the question of FAMILY from a norm-defying perspective.  Together we are exploring what diverse processes and choices contribute to creating groups who consider themselves family? Children are learning about one another, and about the range of choices their families have made.  They are asking their parents about decisions that formed their families.  Families are sharing books to usher an understanding around their individual family formation.  The conversation has ensued with an open and deep dialogue among children and families.  This exploration in this day and age is an exciting one.  The diversity of family structure is vast, and full of diverse choices.

Parents are welcome to attend in these upcoming weeks if they wish to. Please talk together at home to decide about your own familial sharing.  We are compiling a range of books to support this exploration.

Nan's Donut Dilemma