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.

Time Out for Parents

time out

We only have two more sleeps until the boys finish for the summer holidays and I can’t wait. I love having them at home and dread the end of the holidays as they all-too-quickly approach. Time out as a family is important however time out for us as parents is something that shouldn’t be ignored or put aside either.

I once joked to friends when the children were younger that I could make a fortune if I were to open a small hotel exclusively set up for parents to take turns to come and relax and decompress for a night. Parenting can be demanding, as fabulous as it is, and sometimes time out for parents is a must.

Sadly I don’t own a small hotel and am not earning my early retirement from parents looking for some Peppa Pig time however if you are serious about taking some self-care time out for you, consider these ways to do it.

Use Your Annual Leave

Holidays are usually saved up to cover the school holidays and so on. What if for once, they weren’t? Try and take a day off just for you while children are at school or in childcare (or with a willing sitter) and just spend time on you. Roy and I started doing this years ago and we love it. We go out for lunch or breakfast, curl up and watch movies, go for a walk or similar. Nothing flash, nothing fancy, but something much needed and appreciated.

Find a Babysitter

A trusted babysitter is worth his or her weight in gold. Having someone who can look after your child/children so that you may go away for a night or even just an evening enables you to spend some time together as a couple or time out for yourself. Try and schedule some time out regularly, even if it’s just to get out of the work/home cycle for a few hours for a meal at a local restaurant.

Join a Club

Go to karate, join a Dungeons and Dragons RPG group or find a fun book club. Find something that takes you away from home for a few hours, enables you to spend time doing something you love with people you like. Again, dedicating that little bit of self-care for yourself is something you should do and something you deserve.

Relax on a Cruise Holiday

This takes my parent hotel idea and cranks it up a notch or ten. We have plans when the boys are older to get out there and enjoy more us time. More than an evening or a night away (we haven’t done a night away together for them yet and the eldest is twelve, we must try harder). Whether we go for a tour de Britain in a campervan or decide on something more luxurious such as a cruise holiday, time will tell.

Get Others on Board

Finding a sitter, finding the time (and the energy) to organise a night out and then going through the motions of getting dressed, packed and so on is often what puts parents off and results in another cancelled night out. It’s tiring being a parent and doing all the other things that adults need to do. Enlist other parents who understand the problem on board, meet up together or babysit for each other. Be accountable for each other and make sure no-one cancels their valuable night or day out without very good cause!

As parents we do an important job. It’s the worst-paid job imaginable, the hours are terrible and our managers can be harsh. That said, we wouldn’t change it for the world. As long as we take the time to recharge our own batteries from time to time, we’ll hopefully all come out of the parenting experience intact.

 

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