One of the most important things to encourage as a parent is engagement with other cultures. This is because providing children with an understanding of other cultures sets them up to be accepting and well-rounded individuals. Today, we live in an incredibly diverse society, meaning it’s more important than ever to know about cultures outside of our own. Similarly, it’s never been easier to educate yourself about cultures outside of our own, as the vast majority of us have ready access to the internet.
To that avail, detailed below are just some of the steps parents can take to introduce their child(ren) to different cultures.
Encourage and Respond to Questions
First things first, children are curious beings who are full of questions, and this is a massively positive thing. Parents should take advantage of this inquisitive nature when it comes to introducing children to other cultures and educating them about them. From “when is Ramadan?” to “what is Diwali?”, children are full of good questions that provide you with a foundation to educate them. Sometimes, children can ask questions too bluntly that it can almost come off as rude; despite this, it’s important to understand that they’re not trying to be rude, but they’re trying to learn.
Take Them Traveling
One of the best ways to learn about a different culture is to experience it for yourself. Therefore, if you’re able to afford to take your children traveling during their school breaks, this is something you should do. Traveling to cultures outside of your own allows you to experience different traditions, cultures, and languages first-hand. Similarly, it opens your eyes to new opinions and views, which broadens your horizons. The last thing you want is for your children to get so deep into their comfort zones that they struggle to break out of them.
Cook Different Cuisines
Too often, children eat nothing but chicken nuggets and fries, and this isn’t beneficial from a cultural understanding standpoint. As early as your children can eat solid food, you should make an effort to cook them foods from various cultures. Of course, this doesn’t mean giving them incredibly spicy food while they’re young, but you can give them flavorful, exotic food that’s still relatively mild. What’s more, if children enjoy food from a different culture, they’ll be more excited to learn about the rest of it. Food is the key when it comes to cultural education.
Listen to Folk Rhymes and Music
Children learn well through nursery rhymes, so introducing them to folk rhymes and music from other cultures is an incredibly effective learning method. Not only does this open their eyes to the culture, but it also provides them with a means of learning some of the language. Learning a language is an extremely difficult task, and if you’re able to introduce a bit of fun into the learning process, this makes it a whole lot easier. After all, learning should be a fun experience; that’s what it’s all about, after all.
Provide Them with a Myriad of Books
Last but not least, you can never underestimate the power of books. Even if your child isn’t quite old enough to understand informational books, storybooks from other cultures are incredibly valuable in broadening a child’s horizons. This also facilitates them in expanding their vocabulary. Similarly, it enhances their ability to empathize, as they’ll identify with the experiences of the people in the book. Being able to empathize is an incredibly important skill to have, as it impacts our ability to form relationships, which are integral to our happiness.
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It seems to me that music is a very bright indicator of a particular culture. Moreover, you can listen to music from different countries and peoples, starting with the oldest and ending with the most popular and latest songs. It’s really interesting. If you can’t find some music on platforms like Spotify, I suggest you search YouTube and then download it using Tubidy. In my opinion, it’s really cool to study the culture of countries and peoples through music.