It is very important for parents to teach their children that no two people are the same, but all
people should be treated as equals. The sooner they understand this, the better. The world around
us is clearly very diverse and it is more than likely that your child will have classmates in school with
different cultural backgrounds and varying religious views. With that said, your child will need to learn to celebrate diversity. People who are disrespectful to others just because they’re different are usually uneducated and ignorant, so the best thing you can do for your child to help them respect other cultures, is to teach them about them. Here are some tips from an independent day school in Fulham.
Start by showing your child a world map and explaining to them that people live in all of the
different countries. They often speak another language, have different coloured skin and have
various religious beliefs. What’s more, they will have different traditions, in terms of their celebrations, what they eat, what they wear and the type of music they listen to. These examples merely scratch the surface and your child will likely have lots of questions which you should try and answer to the best of your abilities. Essentially, the message you’re trying to portray to your child is that just because all people are unique, doesn’t mean they are any less important than any other person.
Perhaps you can even explore these cultural traditions further by investing in a calendar and jotting down any upcoming religious holidays and other celebrations. The list is extensive but to get you
started there’s: Eid, Chinese New Year, Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, The Day of the Dead, Diwali,
Find out how these events are usually celebrated and have your own little celebration
at home. Not only is this incredibly fun, it will also be very informative for the whole family.
When eating foods from around the world, get your child involved in the preparation so that they
can learn a little bit about the ingredients from different countries. What’s more, you can learn how
the food is traditionally served and what utensils are used to eat it.
There are lots of books you and your child can read together that will expand your cultural
awareness. Most importantly, you will need to be a good role model for your child and always be
respectful to others regardless of their race, religious beliefs and even their age. If your child hears
you making stereotypical jokes about other cultures, they will think this is acceptable behaviour, so
you must refrain from doing so.
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