Spread the World: Raising a Globally-Minded Child
May 15, 2017
Now more than ever, kids are growing up in a globally connected world. It is becoming increasingly important to your child’s success that they can appreciate the differences of others, and to work with people from around the globe. Luckily there are many simple ways to instill within your kids a global mindset, allowing them to learn and appreciate cultures around the word!
Global Citizenship Starts at Home
The first step to raising a global learner is to build an awareness and appreciation for your own family traditions and culture. Make your child aware of what makes him or her different from others, and share with your child any traditions that are connected to your heritage. Strengthen skills and awareness in the child’s own environment.
If your child is of mixed heritage, make sure he or she appreciates all the cultures to which they’re connected. When celebrating holidays, make sure the food, desserts, and traditions align to your family’s unique culture, and teach them about the history of their heritage.
Here are simple takeaways that can help you raise insightful kids deeply attached to the world and prepared to change it for good:
Raising a Bilingual Child
Make learning a second language a priority for your child. Not only will your child become fascinated with another culture, your child will also set themselves up for future success, since being bilingual can come in handy in your little learner’s future career.
If you’re wondering how to raise a bilingual child, look no further than your local school district to inquire what types of bilingual education they offer to young children. If your district doesn’t have a program, look to local groups within the community to get started.
Branch Out to Similar Cultures
If you use your family’s culture as a starting point, you can use this to teach them about similar, but slightly different cultures and traditions. You can use this to teach your children about different countries and their beliefs.
For instance, if you and your child are part Mexican, talk to them about Spanish culture and how it differs. Moreover, start a conversation about the way cultures spread and change over time and distance.
Take Advantage of Local Resources
Libraries have a vast amount of resources available to your child ranging from children’s books about different holidays around the world to apps that include social studies practice. Visit the art museum with your child to explore paintings and sculptures from around the world. Challenge your child to notice the differences they notice, and use it to start a conversation about culture.
Watch a short introduction video on Kids Academy - Preschool Learning Kids Games that can help you on the way to instilling global mindfulness in your kid. Learn more about the app.
Celebrate Global Holidays through Food
Pick holidays from around the globe to celebrate that your family normally does not recognize and celebrate! For instance, if your family doesn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, celebrate it this year! Discover the popular cultural dishes to prepare with your children, and get them involved in the preparation.
For St. Patrick’s Day, cook up traditional corned beef and cabbage. Learn how to make homemade tortillas, enchiladas, and tamales for Cinco De Mayo. If you don’t want to wait for a holiday, just pick a country and explore a traditional dish. This could be fun for any night of the week, regardless of the date on the calendar!
Travel, Near or Far
Since the US is so diverse, you won’t even have to leave the country to discover a new culture! Most major cities have cultural centers, like a Chinatown or Koreatown which will allow your child to explore vastly different foods.
Take vacations to locations in the US that have a strong cultural connection. For example, Disney’s Epcot Center has an entire section of the park dedicated to teaching families about the culture of 11 different countries from around the world!
This list is only a beginning...
America is the great melting pot of cultures and beliefs from all around the world! By taking advantage of the vast amount of resources we have here at home, we can teach our children to respect, appreciate, and celebrate people and their cultures around the world. Not only will this help our kids to develop a healthy respect for humanity and our differences, but will prepare your child to work well with people from across the globe, posing them for future success!