I recently realized, that although we live in a fairly diverse area, most the kids entering The Flash’s Kindergarten are Caucasian. My son is Asian. Our family is 3/4 Asian, so he thinks little about the way he looks at home. At school, however, I worry.
I read too many stories of other adoptive families whose children endure teasing, racist comments, and general meanness. Kids can be cruel. On several occasions I have had children in my classes pull their eyes back and make racist slurs–or no reason at all except that they thought they’d get a laugh. They’ve usually melted with embarrassment as I reveal my family picture and lay into them how those comments make me and my family feel.
I sat The Flash down the other day to talk about teasing. I want to prepare him (as best as I can!) for the challenges ahead. I tried to tell him that sometimes kids act mean and they might make funny eyes to make fun of you. Then I asked, “What could you do?”
The Flash replied, “Say ‘Nonsense!’ and walk away.”
By Jove, I think he’s got it!
Nonsense! is a silly and delightful rhyming picture book of things that just aren’t right. Nonsense! The final punch, however, is the lesson that when others are mean or call you names, you can yell “Nonsense!” Because that is what those statements are. The book has the potential to add self-worth and confidence to children. It is a fabulous starting point for discussion between adults and children.
Speech Therapy Ideas:
1. Practice rhymes. Which 2 words rhyme on the page? Can you name a rhyme for… Predict the final rhyme in a verse.
2. Talk about all the silly pictures. What is silly about each picture? Why is that silly?
3. Discuss what the word “nonsense” means. Give more examples.
4. Discuss the message at the end of the book. Have you ever heard kids tease each other? Have they ever teased you? What are some ways that you can respond?