Raising multicultural children in today’s world can be a challenge. There’s so many stereotypes and biases that we all have to grow past about what we are led to believe about other cultures. Every human being in the world is shaped by their cultural beliefs and norms. If we are to raise a next generation of children who are culturally aware and sensitive then there’s many things to consider. We as adults have the social responsibility to give our children the tools needed to be more tolerant in today’s growing global village and economy. I have a multicultural teenage son who has been raised in the US, Middle East and in Africa. Because he was exposed to a variety of cultures it allowed him to become adaptable. When a child is raised in a variety of cultures it allows them to be able more socially responsible and accepting adults.
There’s an excellent website called Harmony’s World, a blog that lists a variety of tips on raising multicultural children. I highly recommend any parent who is either living in a multicultural city in the US or raising a child in a foreign country to take advantage of the advice that the Multicultural kids blog has to offer. Listed below are some of the key factors mentioned in the website that are a good idea to consider: Teaching Diversity in the Home.
One key factor mentioned on the website,is that one must teach diversity in the home. Home is the safest place for a child to learn about a new culture. One good piece of advice offered on the website is to properly educate your child about the opposite culture. Then allow them to explore aspects of the culture and fall in love with it. Teach your children that appreciation and respect of another culture is not taking away anything from your culture. Nor does it devalue any aspect of your culture. Often times we as adults adopt these ethnocentric theories and attitudes thus it creates a bad example for our children. Children are less prejudice than adults. Children have the ability to adapt in amazing ways than we give them credit for. This is why it is important that we emphasize to them that different doesn’t mean strange or bad.
Another good piece of advice the website focuses on for raising multicultural children is to make your home a cultural experience. Allow children to help you decorate the house with a variety of flags from different countries. Maybe if you have a child that likes to cook allow them to use the opportunity to help prepare a cultural dish that they never tasted before. If your child has global day at school, allow them to go represent a different culture that day. These are all ways that children can learn and explore and get out of the fear of learning about a new culture.
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