Welcome back to another year of academia. We at InterAct Youth Services are excited to educate our students, your children! This month, we will be focusing on challenging stereotypes. Questioning normative standards is an essential aspect of critical thinking, and high school is the perfect time to hone one’s skills. By looking at gender norms, self-love, and the value in other people’s differences, we will open a dialogue for your children to discuss our culture. We will then further analyze individual biases and how they impact personal relationships, as well.
This choice of content is largely in part due to October being bullying prevention awareness month, stating the goal of “…encourage[ing] communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.” Bullying can occur due to a variety of factors: age, gender, gender orientation, sex, race, ethnicity, class, and religion. Constant bullying can have a powerfully detrimental effect on a child’s cognitive and social development, self-worth, and self-confidence; can increase stress, and can lead to substance abuse. It is essential that we converse about loving one’s self, valuing others, and being accepting of other’s differences. Everybody deserves to be accepted for who they are, and our goal is to promote this belief to create a healthier, more joyous world.
Our first meeting will consist of discussing normative standards, particularly gender stereotypes, to decrease stigma and increase understanding of differences. We hope to mitigate bullying and propagate a culture of valuing differences through acceptance. Our second week will look at our individual biases and how they impact our relationships directly. This is all with the goal of enhancing your children’s critical thinking and promoting a culture of acceptance.
Outside of our class time, we urge you to have these conversations with your children. If you suspect your child is being bullied or is bullying, please reach out and try to help. When you hear your child make a gender-normative, racist, sexist, classist, or other oppressive statements that trivializes another’s experience, please do not let it go unchecked. Together, we can create a culture of acceptance. Together, we can strive to better the world. For, as they say, it takes a village.
If you have any questions about any of the topics presented above, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call at (919) 828-7501.