The Power of Welcome: Helping Our Kids Choose Love over Fear

Ann Voskamp | 1/16/2019 | Staff
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Do you remember what it means when people are refugees or immigrants?” I ask my eight-year-old son.

“Yes, Dad. We talked about that last week. Remember?”

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“I’m going to write my next book about this.”

“Okay. But wait, are we for them or against them?”“Okay. But wait, are we for them or against them?”

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“For them. Remember. Being a refugee means someone had to run away from something bad, like war. They had to leave home, leave everything behind. Can you imagine if we had to leave our house and your school and move somewhere far away, where they speak another language, because we weren’t safe? And an immigrant is coming to somewhere new, which is usually hard too. We want to be people who help people in hard situations, right?”

“Sure. But some people we are against, right? Why?”

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“I think people are nervous or scared about a few things. Safety is one. They don’t want any bad people to get in who could hurt them. They also think people might take their jobs. And new people can bring change with them—like a different language, culture, or religion that they don’t want.”

“Okay, watch this move. You stand right there. I’m going to jump off the couch and kick you. You try to block my kick, but you won’t be able to because the crane kick cannot be defended.”

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We’d watched the old Karate Kid as our family movie the night before, so 95 percent of the conversation then turned to punches, kicks, “not that hard!” and laughter. I knew the movie might put the rest of our family in danger for a few days as my son works out his new Karate Kid techniques.

But as we keep talking, in between indefensible crane kicks—and in the future as he keeps getting older—I want him to recognize what...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Ann Voskamp
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