Has your child ever asked questions about why a person is dressed in a specific way like “Why does he wear a turban?” or “Why do they go to different type or temple” or “Why do they look different from us?”
As adults we know we shouldn’t ask these questions out loud but it’s not good to quiet your child when they do. Children are intrigued by the difference in way people look or behave. These are very obvious questions in the minds of little ones who are still trying to understand the world around them. So as parents, instead of avoiding them we should answer them and take them as opportunities to teach kids to respect different cultures. If the child is curious about the skin colour of someone, explain to them the biological reason why people from different regions have different skin tones. If they are curious about their dressing style, talk to them about that culture and practices.
By helping kids understand different cultures we
- Raise kids that are more tolerant and respectful to all cultures
- Raise kids that more aware about the world
- Raise kids that understand their own culture, family, ethnicity well
- Teach them best practices of different cultures that they can follow
Use these tips to spark your children’s curiosity about different cultures:
1) Fun being bilingual – Teach them simple words like “Hello”, “Thank you”, “I love you” in different languages.
2) Share experiences – When travelling to a different country with kids, introduce them to local cultures, talk to local people and involve them in the whole experience of enjoying the new place.
3) Celebrate festivals – Celebrate some festivals from other cultures as well, like lighting a lamp on Chinese new year, paint toy eggs on Easter, Eat some tasty dinner together on Thanksgiving day etc.
4) Make learning fun – Don’t make learning about different cultures a textbook learning. Share stories, do craft projects and celebrate different cultures.
5) Be the perfect role model – Be respectful to all religions and all cultures. If you genuinely show interest and love in all people with no discrimination, so would your child.