When Jo Ebisujima discovered her mixed six-year-old son was being bullied at school, her heart shattered. As much as her mama bear instinct wanted to go to school and tear the place down, she knew that wasn’t the answer. Here she shares five ways to build kindness starting at home.

We live in a small town, north of Tokyo, and we are one of a small handful of non-Japanese that live here. On a whole, my experience in Japan has been mostly positive and what I found is that when kids are hostile it's because they are scared or nervous about the unknown. That unknown factor would be me, the pasty white woman with bright pink hair. I can see where they are coming from! Taking this knowledge, with my Montessori training and years of teaching kids I believe as parents we can help kids get over that fear and help them become a generation of kinder world citizens and as the world grows smaller, they will have life skills to help them along the way.

Five steps to raising world citizens:

1. Nurture Curiosity Kids are born curious, they have questions, encourage them to ask them. I have pale hazel eyes. My students often hadn’t seen an eye colour other than dark brown before so there was a lot of deep-eye staring and a lot of questions. Does the sun hurt my eyes? Can I watch TV like them? Do my brothers have the same colour eyes? They were surprised to find out that they have blue eyes! The first time my son met a friend who wears a hijab, he had questions. Does she wear a different one every day? Is it hot in the summer? Does she have lots of different colours to match her outfits?