Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Wants Kids to Help Hurting Neighbor

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a preschool teacher in an inner city. My student "Jayden" told me that his daddy is in jail, so he can’t celebrate Father’s Day this year. I want to create a classroom activity that all students can appreciate, but I’m not sure if it’s possible. Should I continue having everyone make the same card or take the children who don’t have their fathers in their lives aside and have them make an appreciation card for a parental figure? -- Modern Families, Chicago

DEAR MODERN FAMILIES: It is OK to acknowledge Father’s Day in your class. For Jayden, you can tell him privately that he may want to write a card to his father to send to him in prison. Chances are, his father would greatly appreciate receiving a loving communication from his son.

For the class in general, you can suggest that they make Father’s Day cards for their father or for a father figure in their life. It could be a minister, a super, a grocer, an uncle or an older sibling. Whoever it is, suggest that the person who shows them loving kindness and guidance on a regular basis would love receiving a card from them.

Alternatively, in some single-parent households, mothers take on the role of fathers, too. If you have students who say that their mothers really are superheroes in that way, suggest that they make a card for their mother to acknowledge how she does everything.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)