Teaching your child to respect other cultures will help them to understand and celebrate the diverse world in which we live. The world is a big place and your child will meet new people regularly as they grow. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why we travel with kids, to be able to show them the different cultures and ways of life. This senior school in Hertfordshire believes strongly that all voices should be heard and that’s a great place to start when talking about different cultures.
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Explain to your child what culture means and talk to them about how different cultures have different experiences in the world as well as different beliefs. These experiences and beliefs are what shape cultures and your child’s understanding of the world will grow the more they learn.
Looking at your own family’s culture
Your family may represent a number of different cultures and this can be a wonderful place to begin exploring culture with your child. Learning more about their own identity is the first step in broadening their mind. My children have a Zimbabwean heritage, a South African heritage and are now being raised in England and so will inevitably adopt English culture too.
Celebrations and holidays
One of the ways to teach your children to respect other cultures is to show your child a calendar and together, find all of the special holidays which are marked there. Talk to your child about the different cultural celebrations enjoyed across the world – discuss their meaning and how the celebrations are carried out.
Here are some questions you can explore with your child as you learn about various celebrations and traditions that other cultures observe:
- What special foods are enjoyed?
- Are there special dances or processions?
- What songs and music are associated with the celebration?
- Are prayers part of the celebration?
- What style of clothing do they wear?
Culture in film and television
All good films and television programmes are based on culture and sometimes cultural differences. A way to explore this intentionally with your child is to find some good children’s television shows and films which include a wide variety of cultures. Diverse programmes and films are everywhere once you begin looking. Here are a few suggestions:
- A Ballerina’s Tale
- Black Panther
In addition to these movies, there are some brilliant educational shows for kids that explore different cultures, religions, traditions and ways of life.
Film and television also give you a chance to expose your child to the lives of people who live in different countries – discuss the differences with your child. Learning about other cultures is vital in today’s rapidly shrinking world. We are now able to communicate with and work with people from across the globe and preparing your child in this way could be of very real assistance to them as they grow. It’s essential that you as a parent take a leading role in teaching your child to respect other cultures. If you have any further examples of how to do this, I’d love you to please share them in the comments.
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