Children Of The World: Raising Our Kids To Be Culturally Aware

Our planet is getting smaller, and it’s never been more important to appreciate how other people live their lives. A broad mind is its own reward, and planting the seeds now will set your child on the path to a happy and fulfilling life. After all, it’s our responsibility to pass the virtues of tolerance and understanding onto the next generation. So, let’s take a look at how to get started, shall we?
Learn languages early

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Unfortunately, many UK primary schools still don’t include foreign languages as part of their syllabi. It’s a real shame, as a lot of evidence supports the idea that we’re far more adept at picking up languages when we’re very young. Taking your child to French, Spanish or German lessons (or even Czech, Turkish or Romanian – whatever you like!) is a wonderful thing to do. As well as teaching invaluable life skills, it’ll open them up to new people and ideas from a very young age.
Read, read, read

Image from: Wikimedia Commons
As we’ve mentioned before, childhood literacy is a massive topic for discussion in this day and age. Whatever your thoughts on the matter, it’s hard to dispute the basic facts. The more you read, the more you learn. The more you learn, the wider your perspective. The wider your perspective, the more receptive you are to widening it even further. It’s never too early to start, so try to make the time for regular reading sessions with your child. Get them reading everything, from storybooks to food labels, and be sure to try a few of these titles out.
Take advantage of school events

Image from: Steven Depolo
Most primary and secondary schools hold numerous opportunities to learn about other cultures. Overseas pen pals, cultural fairs, and special assemblies can all be informative and a ton of fun, so why not see if your child wants to give them a try? Of course, there’s no better way to learn about a place than by seeing it first-hand. Encourage your child to partake in any school trips and tours abroad, as they’ll never forget the experience!
Be a good example

Image from: Pixabay
It might not feel like it sometimes (especially if Sergio Ag├╝ero is on a hat-trick), but children’s guardians really are the most important people in their lives. The way you act and your views on the world will shape your kids more than you might ever realise. It’s up to all of us to be the kind of people our little ones are proud to emulate. Smile at people and make time for them, whoever they may be. Take your children out to Chinese New Year, Vaisakhi celebrations or the Hindu Festival of Colours. Bring them to a mosque or a Buddhist centre some time. Show them the best of what other cultures have to offer, and let them offer theirs in return.

Our planet is indeed getting smaller. But our capacity for learning, friendship, and acceptance has never been greater.

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