The ability to respect other cultures is a skill that will benefit your child throughout their lifetime. Teaching your children about the many cultures of the world is a great way for them to understand and celebrate diversity. It will also give your kids a better insight into the traditions and customs some of their school friends may follow.
Here are some great tips from an independent sixth form college in London, on how to teach your kids to respect other cultures…
Learn about your own culture
Many families represent a mixture of different ethnicities and backgrounds. Learning about your own family’s background or religious heritage is a great place to start. Teach your child about their own culture, identity, and traditions, and explore ways in which your family is different from others. You can teach them by yourself by doing sacred readings and daily prayers, or you can enroll them in a free vacation bible school program to help them form religious habits. Then, begin to look at how your culture is different from your child’s friends. Look at how and why you might do things differently and teach your child to respect other’s beliefs, even if they are different from their own.
Make a calendar
A great way to teach your kids about other cultures is to make a calendar of holidays and traditions celebrated around the world. For example, Chinese New Year, Diwali, Hanukkah and Ramadan. Add these events to your calendar and use each one as an opportunity to teach your child about the celebrations that are taking place across the globe. Discuss the people, the religion, the music, the food and any other interesting facts about these special occasions.
Expand your child’s cultural awareness through food. By cooking together you can introduce your child to many different foods from around the world. In addition, your child will learn about various ingredients, utensils and dining etiquettes shared by other cultures.
Watch and learn
Reading books and watching documentaries is an ideal way for your child to learn about different cultures and traditions. Books and media can help to transport us to anywhere in the world and experience new lifestyles. Spend time with your child exploring various cultures online and by reading books together.
Be a good role model
It is important for parents to be good role models and demonstrate cultural empathy and sensitivity. Parents must lead by example and always embrace diversity. If you are not open-minded about other people, you can’t expect your child to be. When your child asks questions, use them as an opportunity to help your child understand and respect cultural and ethnic differences.