Teaching Children About Different Cultures

different cultures

Our world is a rich and diverse one, full of hundreds of different cultures, faiths and belief systems. Childhood is the perfect time to learn more about the wider world. Learning about different countries, cultures and beliefs makes children more accepting and can prove highly beneficial as they move forwards through life. As regular readers will know, I have two children, aged 8 years and 12 years and for us teaching them about diversity forms an important part of our parenting.

Of course, school will play a big part in the development and education of our children, and the experiences they encounter while at school will probably go on to influence the rest of their life. Most school curriculums include variations on subjects such as Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics, and Citizenship; often starting with a basic foundation in primary school before giving students the opportunity to learn more at secondary school. My eldest has certainly been enjoying his RS lessons.  As parents  though, it is ultimately our responsibility to to teach diversity, to help them explore different cultures and more.

There are many ways to teach children about different cultures. Here are just a few:

Learn by Example

Young children often like to follow in the footsteps of their parents, mimicking their actions and copying phrases and speech patterns. Most children look up to their parents and want to be like them, which is why one of the best tools available to you is yourself.

Understanding Different Faiths

While younger children might prefer to follow your lead or learn through games and fun activities, older children will most likely be mature enough to start learning by taking in the world around them. Different faiths, cultures and beliefs will start to become more evident, whether it is in school, on social media or simply while out and about.

Religion can be a complex and controversial topic, which is why some people prefer to shy away from it to avoid complications. However, our children need to learn about the world around them, and simple discussions about faith can help youngsters understand why people believe the things they do. It can also help with questions around everyday occurrences like choosing to dress a certain way or eating (or avoiding) a particular type of food. Put simply, if children know the reasons behind these things, they are more likely to be accepting and tolerant.

Travel to Learn About Different Cultures

What better way could there be to learn about different cultures than to see them for yourself? Travelling may be a challenge with young children, but once they get a bit older it can be a brilliant way to open their eyes to the wider world and show them new countries, cultures and sights. This is something we would love to do.

different cultures

Make Learning Fun

Fun activities and exciting games are a perfect way to get children engaged and interested in learning – no matter what it is that you are trying to teach them. There are plenty of games, activity packs and resources available out there, so do a little research and see what you can find.

Whether it is learning about what a zakat calculator can be used for in Islam or trying out different recipes from around the world, there are plenty of creative ways in which you can incorporate learning into daily life.

Above all else, it is important to educate the next generation about the differences between people in our world and help them learn to embrace their uniqueness. Inclusivity and understanding are essential for creating a better, happier future for all, so why not do what you can today to shape a brighter tomorrow.

Mental Health Issues and Support

mental health issues, strength, holding hands

Mental health issues may affect anyone, at any age, gender or location. Depression, anxiety, stress and numerous other mental health concerns don’t discriminate. They don’t care whether you earn £50k a year or struggle to make ends meet. They arrive uninvited and rarely listen to hints about it being time to move on. This is why mental health awareness and support is so important.

The list of mental health conditions that the healthcare community are aware of and may diagnose is vast. Thankfully there are a number of ways to help combat mental health issues.

IMPORTANT
If you are struggling with your mental health please see your GP or healthcare provider in the first instance. The following are all great examples of ways to look after yourself and to deal with any issues you may have and may even be suggested by your GP after assessment. These are not meant to be a substitute for medical care though.

Prioritise Self Care

Self-care is something I have written about several times in the past, from taking time out for yourself to employing meditation and mindfulness in your everyday life. Self-care can go a long way to helping to lessen anxiety, stress and more. Go for a walk, call a friend, have a down day, go for a swim, light candles and binge-watch something. Life can be tiring. It is ok to take time out to reboot, to rest and to find some balance.

Stay Active

Exercise is known to improve confidence, self-esteem and offer physical benefits too from helping you sleep to encouraging clarity of thought. You don’t need to join a gym or a class. Walk around the garden or around the block. Get some fresh air at lunchtime. Consider yoga or pilates from home if not at a local class. Physical activity can go a long way towards helping you destress, for example.

In The Moment Help

Sometimes you need more immediate help. If, for example, you struggle with anxiety, have a grab bag, something you can get hold of easily with items which help you. A notebook, a drink, a squeezy ball, a paper bag, essential oils; any tools that help you keep calm, stave off a panic attack and give you back a little control. There are phone apps aimed towards meditation and even talking you through a sudden moment of upset and panic. Having something there and present, either to calm you down or uplift you, can be a great way to help manage some of the symptoms of mental health issues.

Talk to Someone

Your GP should be your first port of call if you are struggling with mental health issues. That doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t speak to someone else in the meantime or at any point. Speak to a trusted friend or family member, consider online therapy, ask about local support groups or consider anyone you might feel comfortable speaking to about where you are at and how you are feeling. Mental health concerns are nothing to be embarrassed about. They are more common than you might suppose and don’t have the stigma attached that you once did.

Everyone is Different

When it comes to stress, anxiety, depression and/or any other mental health conditions we all feel differently, react differently and require different levels of support. What might work for one person may not work for another. For this reason, communicating with your health team is important as they will be able to help you work out what you need and ensure that it is available to you.

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