How do you talk to your children about poverty? Have you ever wandered through the city and seen a homeless person sleeping on the street? What have you said to your child? Or more importantly – what have they asked you?
Poverty is a huge issue in our society and one which often gets unnoticed as a lot of the media coverage it driven by consumerism and money. We see so many images of people who have so much, we see advertisements telling us we need to have things to make us happy but how often do we see the people who have lost their homes, loved ones and money? Not so much.
But how do you talk to your child about poverty? There is a wonderful book called Children in our world: Poverty and Hunger and there is you.
So what can you do?
Does your child understand the concept of money? What is a dollar or a cent?
Do they realise how people make money and how much things cost? Many children these days are given so much – we need to show them the cost of these things – not only to the consumer but to the person who made it and the environmental impact.
Do they realise how other people around the world live? Look at images of other children around the world and show them what poverty really means. Talk about how having clean running water, healthy food, electricity and shelter are the basic needs people need to ensure they live without poverty and hunger. Poverty doesn’t mean not having the latest gadget.
Look at magazine images of people who over consume. What is the media trying to tell us? Do we need to aspire to be like this?
Research different charities that help people to move out of poverty and see how you can get involved.
Educate and empower your child to be a global mover and shaker.