A 2020 Summer Schedule | Theme: Diversity, Empathy and Kindness

summer schedule

The last few weeks have been extremely powerful to say the least, and for many of us including myself, we are looking at what’s next….

As a mother of two young kids, there’s a long list of to do’s for teaching my kids the importance of diversity, empathy, and kindness, and it’s going to start with what I do this summer.

I’ve always enjoyed creating a summer schedule.

In the past they looked like, “Make Something Monday, Water Wednesdays, and Take a Trip Thursdays” (where we took trips to the fair, amusement parks, etc.) But with limited options due to the pandemic and the need for change, I’m going to put a focus on diversity, empathy, and kindness.

My son starts kindergarten next year. And while some moms may be focusing on their ABCs, 123s, sight words, and other academia, I’m going to take a different approach.

I want my son to be aware and prepared when he’s in situations like,

“What should you do when you see a kid sitting alone in the lunch table?”

“What do you do when nobody wants to play with you and you’re feeling lonely?

“What do you say when someone looks different and you have questions?”

“What makes a family – is it just having a mommy or daddy or is it having people who care and love you?”

“If someone walks differently, talks differently – what is the best way to say that’s cool?”

I want to use this summer to have the conversations with my kids that arm them with the best outlook and the best responses so that they feel empowered when they go back to school.

I remember about a year ago, my son and I were at Chuck E. Cheese and he saw a boy in a wheelchair with red eyes. My son was so fixated and kept saying, “Mommy, that boy has scary eyes, Mommy, that boy has scary eyes!” I was mortified b/c I knew that the boy had a disability but at the same time, my four-year-old son had never seen someone with red eyes. I simply told my son,

“Everyone is different, it’s OK!”

In hindsight, maybe there was a better response from me. But the goal this summer is to have those conversations because I think that’s something that many parents tend to put to the side, when it’s really the conversations that we should be having if we want to raise children that are mindful, empathetic, kind, and accepting.

So here’s my summer schedule:

  • Monday – Music Mondays will be about learning and listening to a new song that promotes diversity and equality or perhaps even a fun song in a different language.
  • Tuesday – Think and Read Tuesday will about introducing books that support and encourage Equality, Diversity, Black Lives Matter, LGBT or Disabilities.
  • Wednesday – Watch Wednesdays will be watching a new cartoon or movie that supports diversity in its characters.
  • Thursday – Talkin’ Thursdays is going to be about learning common phrases in a different language like hello, goodbye, please, thank you, and I love you!
  • Friday – Foodie Friday is going to be about enjoying new meals from around the world.

I know that change doesn’t happen overnight.

But knowledge is power and with open hearts and eager minds, I’m going to make this summer one to remember.

This summer I am going to EDUCATE my kids on important things and by doing so, we are going to ELEVATE this Summer Schedule.

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Born and raised in Orange County from immigrant parents, Allison Melanio is an Xennial (mix of Gen X and Millennial) mom of three young children – Maddox (6), Macy (4) and Margaux (4 months). Her husband and two kids currently reside in Rancho Mission Viejo, CA. Allison’s background includes an Entertainment PR Internship at Nickelodeon in NYC, a Journalism degree from CSULB and 11 years doing corporate communications and events at Altec, a software company in Laguna Hills, CA. Allison ended 2019 by resigning from her position at Altec and now works part time at Canon Medical Systems, USA as a Multimedia Specialist so she can devote more time to her young children. A typical Monday to Friday week for Allison includes two to three work days, a day to take the kids to Pretend City, Disneyland or the Park and a day to volunteer in her son’s PreK class and then them to ballet and karate. Allison loves making lists, exploring new places, planning (vacations, parties, and events) and making the most out of every day!