I’m a teacher of thirty years and have met many kids from different walks of life. However, we are all essentially the same, no matter where we have come from or who our family happens to be.
I am always concerned when one of the students, or their parents introduce themselves as “step-mom” and their child as,——“this is my stepson or this is my step child.” Ya know what, this is negative and really, on a subliminal level, there can ring inadvertently, a hurtful tone in this word “STEP.” I HAVE SEEN CHILDREN CRINGE AND NOT FEEL TOTAL, LIKE A CHILD THAT DOESN’T BELONG. So I would always do my speech and quote Chief Seattle that we are all the same, we all bleed the same, we are all human beings and are cut from the same cloth. This gives a person or student a sense of being equal and feeling good about themselves and builds their self worth and their self esteem.
All children are gifts. They are special and have their curiosity of life and look with eyes wide opened. They are very impressionable. They are products of their environment and what my friend is doing, is reaching out to the world of words and Webster’s dictionary. She is attempting to give us an alternative with the word PARA-KIN. “Para” takes the negative out of what should be a beautiful and positive family structure and makes it more palatable to the listener, child and family.
I’m so proud of Ms. Debra Chernick to have this epiphany. I wish for her and her quest, success in reaching for the rainbow. I support her and her new concept.
mahalo and aloha to all
Janice Causey, educator and artist