Parenting in the 21st Century Part III

In our final installment we will be looking at the story of Abdul, a 16 year old who took what
could have been a negative situation and turned it into an opportunity to support his


Abdul is sixteen years old and he lives with his family in Houston, Texas. Abdul’s parents
immigrated to the United States when he was four years old from Saudi Arabia. While his
parents have become citizens since arriving in this country, many members of his
community are still not citizens and are fearful that they could be deported back to their
home countries.

Abdul was feeling helpless about how he could respond back to these ever-growing fears in
his community. He decided that he wanted to organize a rally and an information session to
gather people together from his community in a positive way and to invite lawyers and other
legal experts in to help people understand their rights.

Abdul recruited his best friends to help put together banners and placards for their march.
They began tweeting about the rally to encourage other community members to join with
them. Abdul and his friends were also able to recruit several lawyers and law students to
speak with the participants about their legal rights.

On the night of the rally, over 300 people gathered together to peacefully protest and learn
how to protect their rights as citizens. Abdul was inspired to hear several people walking
away from the rally saying that they now had a better idea of how to defend themselves and
create their own pathway towards citizenship.


Abdul took what could have been a negative and turned it into a positive. He used
CRITICAL THINKING, CREATIVITY, and COMMUNICATION to create a positive gathering
to support his community. As a parent, when you see your child is feeling helpless about a
situation, as they how they would like to respond and see if you can work with them to find a
solution. Your child may not have an idea as large as creating a rally, but it’s important to
help them understand and express their possible solutions to the real-world issues that are
happening around them.


It’s critical to create space for your children to speak up, be heard, and show up as leaders.
Our children are not immune to the challenges of our world and they should be encouraged
to think out loud, discuss solutions, and put their ideas into action. When our children
understand their power and their strength, they can go confidently into the world knowing
that they can make a difference.


By Sonia Toledo, CEO of Dignity of Children