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Our world is a big beautiful place full of diversity and it is important that as parents you teach your kids about the world around them. However, many of our children grow up in a bubble surrounded only by those who look and sound just like them. To understand and appreciate other cultures and customs, you may have to go outside of your comfort zone, but this is what must be done for us to understand those who are not just like us. In order to teach your kids about the world and raise children who are globally aware, we must be global citizens ourselves.
The most obvious way to teach your kids about the world is through travel, but not everyone has the means to do this, at least not on a regular basis. The good news is that living in the United States means you live in a country full of diversity. You likely do not have to look far for authentic experiences that teach your kids about the world and those who have different backgrounds than our own.
10 Ways To Teach Your Kids About The World (Without Travel)
Attend Festivals and Events That Celebrate Other Cultures
Take your children to festivals that celebrate Indian dancing or Chinese New Year.
Interact With Diverse Friends
Foster relationships with those who are different than you and your children. Once the relationship is established, do not be afraid to ask questions about your differences. Communication is the key to understanding.
Celebrate Holidays of Other Cultures
That does not mean you have to go to a mosque during Ramadan, but you can talk to your child about the holiday, who celebrates it, and its origins.
Teach or Encourage Your Child to Learn Another Language
Maybe you do not speak another language to teach your child, but that does not mean your child can not learn. Seek a computer course or app to teach your child another language, maybe you can even learn a language together.
Utilize Your Local Library
This can be as simple as checking out books about African Americans during black history month or checking out a whole series of books about teaching your young child Spanish.
Try Different Types of Food
Start exposing your children to different types of food early. They will learn to like the food before they are old enough to realize it is something different that they should turn their nose up at!
Read More: Not Your Bubbies’ Latkes
There are many non-profits that work directly with groups with different heritage than yourself. A good place to start is a local refugee organization where you can help refugees adjust to their new life here, while you learn about the life they left behind.
Celebrate Customs of Other Cultures
Try a yoga class with your children and explain that the tradition originated in ancient India. Do not just watch the movie Coco, but explain Dia del Muerto and how it is celebrated in Mexico each year as you make colorful crafts to honor the celebration.
Buy Toys That Promote Diversity
All of your child’s toys do not have to look like him. Purchase dolls, toys or characters of other cultures for your child’s imaginative or free play at home.
Answer Your Child’s Questions
Sometimes we do not know the answers to difficult questions our children ask, but we should seek out answers from those who can answer or at least try to find out answers via the internet. We literally have the world at our fingertips.
As you can see, there are many ways to teach your kids about the world even if you can not travel. Learning about another culture does not have to mean traveling to another country. We learn by introducing ourselves to the customs of people from different backgrounds. Do not teach your children not to see color and differences amongst people around them, instead, teach them to celebrate the things that make us different so that we can foster and promote understanding in this big, beautiful world of ours.
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