7 Things I Want My Kids to Learn from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an incredible man. I know you already know that, but will you be using his national holiday to talk to your children about his legacy and spirit? I’d really like to.

I’d like to believe tolerance and acceptance of all other cultures is not only evident, but celebrated, within my multicultural family. Just the other day my 4-year-old asked me why he doesn’t have “yellow” hair or light skin like I do. It gave me great pride to remind him that our beautiful family is the creation of two people from two different races that met, fell in love and started a family. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said himself, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” How lucky I am indeed to be in the same ship with these beautiful people.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s light shown so brightly that this year, 44 years after his untimely passing, we still look to the wisdom of his incredible spirit and realize not only how far we’ve come, but how far we have yet to go.

Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed a dream we all share for our children. I hope to pass along these seven lessons inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. to my children.

  • The Ultimate Sacrifice 1 of 7
    The Ultimate Sacrifice
    "If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."

    I'd like to teach my children the power of Mr. King's quest for social equality and the ultimate sacrifice he paid.
    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • The Importance of Truth 2 of 7
    The Importance of Truth
    "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."
    Honesty, integrity, and accountability are the greatest character building blocks we can offer our children. We must lead by example.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • The Dream of Peace 3 of 7
    The Dream of Peace
    "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
    Peace can start in the home: showing peacefulness and alternative methods of conflict resolution during a household argument or disagreement is the first step to really being able to picture a world without violence.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • The Power of Love 4 of 7
    The Power of Love
    "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
    Love is all you need. Showing love and kindness, especially to those who've done little to deserve it, sends a powerful message to our children.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • The Courage of Faith 5 of 7
    The Courage of Faith
    "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
    Bravery isn't the absence of fear, but rather the courage to face the unknown with faith — a powerful lesson for kids, whether they're afraid of monsters under the bed or something more.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • The Gift of Acceptance 6 of 7
    The Gift of Acceptance
    "I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
    As parents, we must do everything we can to encourage open-mindedness, kindness and tolerance.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • The Neccessity of Social Responsibility 7 of 7
    The Neccessity of Social Responsibility
    "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
    Allow your family to engage in social good — volunteer at a kid-friendly organization, help clean up a park, or help your kids donate their gently used toys to children in need to show them the gift of giving back. Together we can do anything!

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

Will you be discussing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message with your children?

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