Finding Great Books

I know from my own life experiences that reading can be an excellent way to expand your worldview. Books provide limitless opportunities for children and adults to explore windows and mirrors. As a parent, I am grateful that my kids enjoy reading. I view each new book as a gift and an opportunity to learn. However, sometimes it can be challenging to find great books with positive messages. Luckily, there are many resources available to help navigate the endless choices of books. Today, I want to share three websites that will help you find amazing books for your children and youth. Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media “is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated [...]

The Importance of Role Models

Social learning and modeling helps us understand that our children are constantly observing and imitating the values, beliefs, and behaviors they witness around them. Modeling occurs whether our actions are positive or negative, intentional or unintentional, conscious or unconscious. In addition to the behavior of parents, it’s important to consider the other people who can serve as role models for our children. It’s important to realize that the possibilities are endless. Role models can be extended family members, siblings, teachers, coaches, peers, neighbors, television and movie characters, celebrities, professional athletes, and characters from a book (fiction and non-fiction). Because role models can have a significant impact in the lives of children, researchers have tried [...]

Making A Commitment

Happy New Year! Although I am not one who makes many New Year's Resolutions, I did commit to write at least one article every month in 2019. One of the reasons I want to write more is due to the current climate in our country. It seems to me that we are living in difficult and dangerous times. Our responses to cultural differences are deeply dividing our nation. Since the presidential election, our country is witnessing a dramatic rise in hate crimes (Click here to read more) and teachers are reporting an increase in bullying (Click here to read more). It seems that overt prejudice is becoming more normative and socially acceptable with each [...]

It’s Okay to Be Different and Other Important Lessons Our Children Need to Learn

I was asked to give a sermon at First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati and it was recorded. You can watch the video or read the full transcript below. TRANSCRIPT: Good morning. My name is Laura Stanton and I have been a member of First Church for 3 years. I am part of the “Stuff Family” that is made up of my husband, Steve Duff, and my 2 kids. I need to thank them for being patient with me while I worked on this last week (and last night). I also want to thank my parents and my in-laws for coming this morning to root me on! When you are on this side [...]

Describing the Water

When you are part of the ingroup or the majority, it can be difficult to answer the question, what is culture? I recently talked about right handed people not having to think about being right handed. It is like asking a fish to describe water. When the water is all around you and it’s all you see and all you know, it can be difficult to even notice the water. Let alone describe it. The times I have been most aware of the water around me is when I have experienced what it is like to be in the outgroup or part of the minority. These moments have brought a range of emotions; from [...]

Ingroups and Outgroups

In my last post, I used the words majority and minority. As we examine different dimensions of culture, there are also different majority and minority groups. These terms refer to the number of people who fit into a certain demographic group, but these terms may not always be accurate. For example, although men are considered the majority gender group in the United States, women slightly outnumber men (51% to 49%). Another example is Christians; while they are the religious majority in our country, they are a minority religion across the globe. Rather than use the terms majority and minority, I prefer the terms ingroup and outgroup. Outgroups are cultural groups that are disenfranchised, exploited, [...]

By |2017-07-06T01:37:01-05:00July 5th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Happy Loving Day

Fifty years ago today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that state bans on interracial marriages were unconstitutional. The landmark decision was based on the case Loving vs. Virginia, named after Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving. The two fell in love and got married but since he was white and she was part Native American and part black, their marriage was illegal in their home state of Virginia. In fact, they were both arrested and jailed for breaking the law. In 1967, the Lovings won the right to be legally married and the Supreme Court decision overturned the law in the 16 states that had banned interracial marriage. Since then, June 12th has [...]

Dimensions of Culture

Let’s continue exploring the question: What is culture? I hope you have spent time thinking about this important question and writing down those cultural dimensions of your life that have shaped and guided your worldview. You'll find that there are many different ways to teach about culture. One popular approach is to think of culture like an iceberg. The main idea is to remind people that the visible aspects of culture (food, clothing, language, skin color, etc.) often make up a small part of a person’s culture. There are also invisible aspects of culture that are below the surface and invisible to an observer. These dimensions of culture are more numerous and contain more depth. [...]

What is Culture?

If a stranger came up to you and asked about your culture, what would you say? If you don’t have an immediate response, think about this academic (i.e., long) definition of culture, “the behavior, values, beliefs, language, traits, and products shared by and associated with a group of people, which are passed from one generation to the next.”[1] A simpler definition of culture is a “framework that guides and binds your life practices.”[2] I like to think of culture as a pair of glasses. These glasses influence the way you see the world but they don’t come off. They frame your perspective, impact the way you interact with others, and they were given to [...]

By |2017-06-06T00:28:02-05:00June 3rd, 2017|Tags: , , |0 Comments