When we think back through our heritage and ancestry, we realize that our country truly is a melting pot. America offers many cultural traditions, religions, and belief systems from all over the world. Depending upon our own belief system some parents embrace living in a diverse society and culture. Other parents may feel uncomfortable with exposing their children to other cultural and religious beliefs.
Every day when we look into the classroom, we must help our child learn to grow up with tolerance and non-prejudice attitudes. We must first examine our own belief systems in order to offer an open mind and help our children to experience various cultural fairs, foods, dance, music, and the arts.
If we as parents judge and carry certain biases and prejudice, than we will be role modeling this to our children. We may be experiencing a mirrored prejudiced view of ourselves through the eyes of our children.
Here are some suggestions to help encourage diversity in your child’s life
- Purchase a globe or world map in your home and hanging it in a family room or a child’s bedroom. This will help them realize there is a world filled with uniqueness and differences.
- Try dining in Brazilian, Korean, Ethiopian or other worldly restaurants instead of only American or Italian food restaurants. Your child will develop a palette and interest in other cultures just by experiencing different foods.
- Purchasing books for your home library on race, culture, disabilities, and values is a great tool to discuss different lives of children and their families across the world.
- Watching movies or documentaries of other cultures can be advantageous to your child’s learning experiences as well.
- Encouraging your child to have an international pen pal and corresponding by emailing or handwriting letters could be a wonderful way for a child or teen to develop a more global interest in others.
- Talking about current events and objecting to cultural insensitivity or prejudice at the dinner table over an article or recent event is a wonderful way to engage your child in an open discussion.
- If your teen enters college and wants to travel abroad, you may want to encourage him or her to experience a new life for a semester or summer.
- Maybe considering being a host family with a child from another country can help develop an understanding within your own family of another child’s life and heritage. This can create friendships that span across the Earth.
Hopefully these ideas will be advantageous to you as a parent to create awareness and open mindedness for your family. These suggestions and ideas may be great tools and strategies that you may implement within your own home to create cultural diversity.