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Cultural Acceptance & Our Kids
Is cultural acceptance and awareness something that you think about as a parent? In our increasingly globally connected and diverse world, it probably should be! I admit, that I don’t think about it or intentionally try to teach it as much as I probably should. So of course, I turned to my trusted B-Inspired Blogger mamas for the push that I need to start working on it with my kids. Here’s what they say they do to foster cultural acceptance in their kids…
How Do You Foster Cultural Acceptance in Your Kids, Mamas?
- Teach Our History – “We’re a mixed-race family (Indian/Caucasian), so I wonder if my boys (ages 3 and 5) just think it’s normal that we’re all different shades of brown. My five-year-old learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. this year in school, and was intrigued by the Rosa Parks story, as well as when I told him that in “the olden days,” it would have been against the law (or frowned upon, at least) for Mommy and Daddy to get married. It actually makes me happy to see this new generation be so unconcerned and nonchalant about cultural differences and skin color.” Dawn of Prickly Mom
- Play with Multicultural Toys & Dolls – “We have books and dolls in our home representing people from all walks of life.” Katie of Gift of Curiosity
- Listen to Multicultural Music – “Itty Bitty is still very young so we often just make sure to include songs and music consistently found in other cultures and countries.” Erika of Prey Species
- Read Books About Diversity – “We’re also a mixed-race family (Filipino/Caucasian). Additionally, I babysit brothers who were adopted (one from Africa, and one from South America). None of the boys bat an eye at the range of skin tones we have in my house sometimes, although other people have been to known to ask questions when we’re all out in public together. We read books that include different cultures and ethnicity, and we’ve talked about different parts of the world.” Mary Catherine of Fun-A-Day!
- Cook & Eat Cultural Foods – “At home, I try to cook dishes from different cultures. One of my goals is to keep food interesting, and to introduce a variety of tastes, smells and preparations techniques. Another thing is that I want my children to explore the different cultures through cooking. Maybe their favourite dish turns out to be Chinese or Indian or French, thus motivating them to learn where this great food comes from?” Olga of The European Mama
- Participate In Cultural Community Events – “We make sure that we participate in cultural events in the community to increase our family’s exposure to diversity!” Erika of Prey Species
- Celebrate Cultural Holidays – “Also, we try and explore different cultural holidays as an entry point into understanding others. I love exposing my kids to days like International Women’s Day and International Day of the Girl…they are great for broadening my girls’ understanding of the challenges that others face around the globe. With understanding comes acceptance.” Jennifer of Kitchen Counter Chronicles
- Host Cultural Playdates – “As a multicultural family, I teach my son about cultural diversity, and acceptance by hosting cultural playdates in our home, and reading to him books about diversity.” Frances of Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes
- Connect with A Family From Afar – “My husband travels frequently. When he is gone, we study the area where he is traveling, Skype with friends that he makes while he is working there, and throw a “party” at the end including everything that we have learned from music and food to lifestyle and language. Our favorite memories so far 1) making a Bedouin camp in our backyard, 2) visiting a French pastry shop while wearing homemade paper berets, 3) learning about music in India, and 4) Skyping with new friends in Singapore that had kids the same age as the boys.” Sheila of Pennies of Time
- Explore Different Languages – “I have also lived in chile and studied spanish in college so I try to talk about spanish culture whenever I can. For example, my son recently started saying “gesundheit” whenever someone sneezed (which is awesome!) and so I told him that you say “salud” in spanish. A great song that he loves is from the old 70s cat in the hat cartoon where the cat in the hat sings about how to say cat in the hat in tons of different languages. Zel will randomly sing this all the time and I love hearing him speak so many different languages at once!” Amy of Z is for Zel
- Spend Time with Family Members of Different Cultures – “We have a mixed family. So my kids learn a little about different cultures just by spending time with family.” Jaime of Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails
- Travel the World – “[Zel] is still young (2 years) but I hope that we are financially able to travel around the world with him. I was able to do a lot of traveling when I was young and feel that it was so important in forming the way I view the world.” Amy of Z is for Zel
- Compete Family Service Acts for Others – “The cultural experiences that cause my boys to pause and ask the most clarifying questions about are those that stem from completing a service act or act of kindness for someone that seems distinctly different than they are. In our community, a trip to visit the nearby nursing home presents an opportunity to not only learn about the needs of the elderly but to also learn more about the cultures that many of the residents represent to the boys. The residents always have great stories to tell and are always interested in sharing their heritage. (I also end up learning so much from these experiences. The one that stands out most is my mind was the Native American Veteran that served in WWII.)” Sheila of Pennies of Time
- Teach Respect – “We are so fortunate to live in a city where people of every ethnic background live. I think teaching kids about cultural diversity and acceptance goes hand-in-hand with teaching our children to respect everyone around us.” Jennifer of Kitchen Counter Chronicles
- Teach Love – “When it comes to acceptance, I approach this in a broader sense with my son. He’s 6, so right now it usually boils down to realizing that everyone’s different and that’s okay. It may seem trivial, but saying something like, ‘I love my friends even when they don’t agree with me’ sets the foundation for accepting differences.” Mary Catherine of Fun-A-Day!
- Be A Positive Role Model – “Our multi-ethnic family lives in an extremely diverse area of the country. Our county is about 1/3 white, 1/3 Asian, and 1/3 Hispanic. The diversity of our community makes it all the more important to be accepting of people who are culturally and linguistically different than us. To foster these traits in our kids, we first and foremost model respect for others and their cultures and practices.” Katie of Gift of Curiosity
Books & Resources for Teaching Cultural Acceptance on Amazon
More Resources for Teaching Cultural Acceptance from The B-Inspired Bloggers
Are your kids exposed to different cultures? How do you foster cultural acceptance in your kids? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
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