Throughout their education, your children will meet lots of other people who different backgrounds and cultures to their own. With that said, it’s important to teach them to respect these differences, whether that is religious beliefs and festivities or skin colour and the way they dress. As a parent, you can help your child understand such matters and teach them to be respectful. Here are some tips from an independent school in Spain who open their doors to international students.
It’s easy to forget that our children are not born with a built-in ability to respect and understand other cultures, or people in general. Parents must lead by example and always embrace diversity. If you are not open-minded about other people, you can’t expect your child to be. Most importantly, you must avoid racial stereotypes and be careful not to engage in any forms of media that might reinforce negative prejudices.
You could introduce your kids to books, either fiction or non-fiction, that explore different cultures and ways of life. For instance, you may choose a novel in which the protagonist is Hindu/Jewish/Catholic/Muslim etc. which will help show your child how people with different religious backgrounds live and behave. You might want to point out which aspects of their own life are similar to the character’s and discuss how interesting the differences are. Watching films will have a similar outcome.
If you want to bring a sense of different cultures into your home to make it feel more real to your child, you could prepare meals together that are commonly eaten in another country, such as China or India. What’s more, you could put together a calendar of upcoming religious festivals and celebrate them in your own home in a traditional manner. The idea is to familiarise your child with different cultures and embrace them as much as possible.