All Hellenic children hear the term “idolater” or “pagan” from the earliest years in the schoolyard, or at the playground, or on television. The parents try to shield them from this kind of ugliness. But the truth is, you cannot prevent them from hearing what people say or from the hurtful words in their school. You cannot protect them always, but you can teach the kids valuable life skills and how to protect themselves while you are away as a family. Many parents already do that without even knowing it.
For example, if you send your kids to the philosophy courses and mythology workshops offered by the Hellenic communities, you allow them to learn logic and counter irrationality with reason. The older they get, the more they hear and see.
But if you wash their tears away and explain them carefully how to think about their ancestors and their culture, and how to distance themselves from the ugliness in the world, while they are young, then they will likely follow your lead and use their own trained mind in order to react correctly and protect their dignity.
And they won’t be alone. Our communities will stand with them and provide them a place where they can express their Hellenicity and feel safe. All kids deserve to express their cultural and ethnic identity. The adults can and should educate them to be happy, strong and courageous, so when they grow up, they will live their lives according to their authentic selves.