Teaching Kids Love, Empathy & Acceptance- Fab Finds Emily Cretella

What happened in Charlottesville, and the fallout since, has shaken us all. And as parents, it can be hard to know what to do after such an event.

How do we address these big issues with our children? How do we ensure we are raising a generation, and a future, where this is never, ever tolerated? 

So, in keeping with this quote from Nelson Mandela (which we shared this week on Instagram), we’re focusing our weekly Fab Finds article on resources that teach kids to love and accept others. Please, if you have others to share, add them to the comments.

Nelson Mandela quote on "if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love"


I asked my friend Samantha Munoz of the children’s literary blog Addison Reads for her support on this one. Samantha says:

One of the most effective ways to explain topics as complicated as racial, cultural, gender or political differences or exclusivity/inclusivity to your children is to use stories. Children’s books provide easily digestible stories that break down these complex ideas into simple characters or predicaments. Using these pieces of literature as a jumping point, there is then an opportunity to explain the broader implications of such topics with the story as a tangible thing for your child to hold on to.

In these most precarious times in our nation, the following children’s books can help you start a much-needed conversation with your children, regardless of their age:

Here’s another fabulous list of books from the website A Mighty Girl: “Standing Together: 50 Mighty Girl Books Celebrating Diversity and Acceptance.” The site also includes an insanely comprehensive list of books for all ages in its Tolerance & Acceptance Collection.

Brightly has another book list that you should read: “Knowing Our History to Build a Brighter Future: Books to Help Kids Understand the Fight for Racial Equality.”

From the list’s author, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich:

“Here are some resources to help us move beyond tokens and icons to a deeper understanding of our history and its legacy, toward our own marches for liberty and justice for all.”

Finally, We Stories in St. Louis provides families with the resources to improve the way they engage their children in conversations about race. If you’re in the area, check them out.


The Washington Post has a great roundup of resources to help teachers talk about hatred in America.

It includes the hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculum, which educators and parents can use to find resources to help lead these discussions, as well as resources from the American Federation of Teachers, Teaching Tolerance and more. Review the article for all resources.

Strategist, executive coach and public policy advocate Nicole Lee (who I learned about through Mother’s Quest) is hosting a free webinar TODAY (August 18) called Courageous Conversation with Children in Difficult Times.”

I’m registered — you should too. (And if you’re reading this too late, check out Nicole’s Talking About Race section on her website, and her essay “Explaining Charlottesville to my 7-year-old.”  

Another resource: CuriosityPack.com has a free download “Raise An Empathetic Changemaker: An Age-by-Age Guide.”

And, required watching for all people: Brene Brown’s Facebook Live on privilege:

“Privilege is not about how hard you work, privilege is about unearned access and authority. If we don’t acknowledge our privilege, we don’t acknowledge the pain of others and we don’t acknowledge the truest thing about American democracy, which should be equality.”


Finally, if you’d like to show your support for the Charlottesville victims, there is a GoFundMe account to which you can donate.

SolidarityCville also has a list of places where you can donate to support anti-racist activism in Charlottesville.

This list is only a start, so please add your favorite resources to the comments or share them on Facebook and Instagram and we will continue to add to this. Together, we can help raise an aware, empathetic and equality-nurturing generation.

Emily Cretella is the founder of MotherHustle.com, as well as the copywriting and content marketing firm CursiveContent.com, where she helps clients create + share stories their audiences love.

She adores being mom to her two little ladies and drinking obscene amounts of coffee from mugs with pithy sayings. Find her on Instagram, and learn more about ways you can collaborate with MotherHustle. 


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  • Samantha

    There is no better time than the present to start pouring the idea of love and acceptance into our children’s hearts. Thanks for including me on this, Emily – great resource as we start to think about explaining what’s going on in this world to our children.

    August 18, 2017 at 12:34 pm

  • admin

    Thank you, Samantha for your thoughtful suggestions! Can’t wait to pick up these books for my #intentionalbookshelf 🙂

    August 18, 2017 at 1:57 pm

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