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 [...]

Lessons From Nature

For the past month or so, I have been actively seeking out and enjoying the stunning wildflowers that are in bloom throughout Southwestern Ohio. I have always enjoyed hiking and nature, but this year, I have made it a point to learn more about native wildflowers. This Spring, I have spent hours walking along trails and creeks, throughout six different counties, learning about each wildflower that I happen to encounter. I have taken hundreds of photos and am slowly gaining more knowledge about these beautiful miracles that grow along the highway, in pastures and meadows, as well as in deep, cool woodlands. Overall, I have to say that the whole experience encourages me to [...]

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 [...]

Starting the Conversation

In my last post, I encouraged parents to break their silence and be proactive in the teaching of tolerance and respect. I use the word “tolerance” with reservation because I am looking for more than tolerance. I think we tolerate tooth aches and tolerate loud music. To me, being tolerant means you are just barely able to deal with something unpleasant. I want to push you to move way beyond tolerance. I want to push you to embrace and respect differences. Don’t just tolerate them. Value the differences and teach your children to value them too. How do you do this? Many people, especially those who find themselves in the majority or ingroup, have [...]

Teach Your Children Well

This afternoon I attended a seminar called Hate Groups in the Wake of Charlottesville: A Community Leadership Briefing. The meeting was held at a local Jewish synagogue and attracted a fairly diverse crowd. The audience gathered to listen to a distinguished panel of speakers that included Joseph Levin, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Oren Segal, the Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. Joseph and Oren were joined by two local FBI agents, Kevin Fisk and Ben Egan, each with expertise in the areas of counter terrorism and civil rights respectively. The seminar started with questions posed to the panelists. Several questions were about the “alt-right” (short for alternative right) movement. [...]

Where Should My Children Go to School?

A friend of mine asked a few questions in the comment section after my last post. He also cited a June 2016 article published in the New York Times Magazine. The article was titled “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City” and was written by Nikole Hannah-Jones. I decided to share my response and open the topic up to further discussion. I want to thank Brandon for bringing up a tricky issue: where to live and where to send your children to school. These are difficult questions for me, and maybe for you too. First, I want to share a bit of personal history. When my husband and I returned to [...]

By |2017-07-31T01:18:51-05:00July 30th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |8 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 [...]

Additional Cultural Dimensions

As I mentioned in my last post, there is an endless list of things that help determine how we see the world around us. I have been fortunate enough to discuss this topic with a diverse group of people and with their help, I have added these additional dimensions of culture: Geographic Region: If you were raised in the U.S., what part of the country do you call home? Military Experience: Have you been actively involved in the military? Time Orientation: Do you place more value on the past, present, or future? Personality: Are you an introvert, extrovert, or a combination of both? Community Type: Is home in a rural, suburban, or urban community? Body [...]

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. [...]