Family Time

Teaching Your Kids to Respect Other Cultures

Since the world around us is very diverse, it’s important to teach your children about different cultures so that they can respect and celebrate people’s differences. The earlier they learn that no two people are the same, the better, so that they can engage with and understand their classmates. Disrespectful behaviour towards others usually stems from ignorance, which is why it’s crucial that young people understand different cultures. Here are some tips from a co-curricular day and boarding school in London.

One fun yet educational way to explore other cultures is to celebrate various festivals and religious holidays from around the world throughout the year. This could include Chinese New Year, Easter, Diwali, The Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Eid, and Christmas, to name but a few. Buy a calendar and mark out each of these important dates so that you don’t miss them. Consider the traditional ways these events are celebrated and try out some native delicacies. You could also decorate your home accordingly and listen to appropriate music.

Food is actually a fantastic way to increase your child’s cultural mindfulness, not just on religious holidays. With that in mind, you should try and make time to cook a meal with your child every now and again, using ingredients from a different country. Don’t forget to consider how the meal is traditionally served and what utensils are used to eat it, like chopsticks, for instance.

Reading together is also a great activity. They are ideal because they can take you to any part of the world without leaving the comforts of your home. Take a trip to the library with your child and let them pick out some books that feature a cultural or religious theme. Read them together before bed to help your child relax and wind down for the night.

When you’re trying to teach your child something, you should always be a positive role model. If you’re not, it’s unlikely that they will ever take you seriously. When it comes to respecting other cultures, make sure you are always considerate to people with different backgrounds. In other words, you must refrain from making stereotypical or racist comments, even if you think it’s just a joke, because your child might consider this to be acceptable behaviour.

One Comment

  • Darin Villanueva

    Great post. I love the idea of listening to holiday music or cooking up the traditional dishes. I was always intrigued by other cultures and religions, my mother was always so stressed that I would “turn” Buddhist because I was always interested in reading Buddhism theory and books. I would argue with her that she was absolutely ridiculous! Even if I did “turn”, so what!? lol. In the end, the more I studied other religions I just settled in accepting them all and don’t claim one as my own. SMH (ooph! I think I touched on a tender spot there haha)

    I agree with you, disrespectful behavior comes out of ignorance and lack of educating oneself. This is so important. Thank you for writing this.

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