Sunday Snippet: 9 Ways to Raise a Global Kid
The United States has residents from all parts of the world. Your child will be growing up with other children of all different cultures than their own. To introduce and interest them to other cultures, Parents.com has put together a list of 9 ways to raise a global child:
1. Show your kids you care.
If your eyes light up when you talk at dinner about your dreams to travel the world, or you speak with passion about current global events, your children will take note.
2. Find festivals.
From the Chinese New Year (on January 23 in 2012) to Italy’s Feast of San Gennaro (celebrated each September), the United States is packed with ethnic celebrations that welcome the general public. Having a chance to see arts and crafts and hear folktales, music, and language is a wonderful experience for the entire family.
3. Make it personal.
One of the unique aspects of American culture is that almost all of us came from somewhere else. Talking about your children’s background and your family’s journey to the United States helps kids connect to the concept of a larger world community.
4. Embrace world music.
If you haven’t already, update your playlists to include music from around the world and watch international pop music on YouTube with your kids. “As kids become accustomed to musical diversity they adjust naturally to the various sounds, which in turn makes those sounds feel less ‘foreign,'” says Homa Sabet Tavangar, a global-business and education expert and mom of three daughters. She wrote her book, Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be at Home in the World, as a way for families to incorporate an international outlook into their daily life.
5. Use soccer to go global.
Pick a team to follow based on your heritage, your child’s friend’s heritage, your family’s favorite type of food, or the language you want to learn to speak. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association website includes an interactive world map to help you learn about all the teams and member countries.
6. Get into geography.
Place an up-to-date world map on a wall near the kitchen table or another heavily trafficked part of your home. Some families mount a map on corkboard and put different-colored pushpins in the countries where they (and friends and relatives) have visited. And when you’re shopping for holiday and birthday gifts, don’t forget about globes and atlases.
7. Display beautiful books.
Kids’ picture books and coffee-table books such as Peter Menzel’s riveting Material World: A Global Family Portrait can bring diverse circumstances and emotions to life for all ages. Consider children’s books including How I Learned Geography, by Uri Shulevitz; Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, about Korean customs; and Beatrice’s Goat, set in Uganda, by Paige McBrier.
8. Make birthday parties global.
When you can move beyond the princess and Star Wars themes, try ones from global celebrations including Bastille Day, Cinco de Mayo, Earth Day, Chinese New Year, the World Cup, and Olympic Games.
9. Watch a foreign film.
Rent subtitled movies instead of dubbed versions, if possible. Read the movie to them as you would a book. That way they are also hearing the language.
These tips can peak your child’s interest in other cultures and prepare them for the future.