My Family

My Family

Monday, 29 August 2011

A Guest Post - Celebrate Diversity with the Whole Family

I would like to share a Guest Post with you today -  Its all about teaching our children about the world's Diversity,Cultures and Differences.There's some great tips here and Its something I'm definitely going to be trying to do more of with my children.This article is written by Mr Dan Gilbert and i have chosen to share it with you as it's something i believe quite strongly in.Please do have a read and let me know what you think? Comments and feedback is always welcome and appreciated.

Celebrate Diversity with the Whole Family

Children are perceptive little people. Explaining a complicated idea like “diversity” to your child may seem like a daunting task, but if you embrace teachable moments as they occur and use a little creativity, children will naturally begin to grasp the beauty of our diverse cultures, people and world.
“We live in a diverse world. By teaching preschool children to appreciate other cultures from an early age, you will help them develop compassion and seek out shared values,” said Dr. Mary Zurn, (aka Dr. Z), vice president of education for Primrose Schools.

The first step to teaching diversity is to see the world from your child’s perspective. They are cocooned in a closely-knit circle of family, friends and perhaps teachers or peers from daycare or preschool. By utilizing music, holidays, cultural events – even animals – to illustrate the great variety of life on earth, you can begin to instill an appreciation for the global community.

Children with a positive outlook on cultural diversity grow into caring, compassionate adults. Begin at home with your own culture and expand outward in an ever-widening circle to raise children who value the great variety of human experience.

Here are a few tips offered from Dr. Z for teaching diversity while celebrating different cultures at home:
Take a trip down memory lane. Bring out the family photo albums and share pictures and stories with your children. Perhaps someone in your family was a witness to history. Children love hearing stories, especially stories they can relate to their lives. Sharing family history will help them feel connected to something larger than themselves. Ask grandparents or other older family members to share what life was like when they were children.
Listen to music.
Children love music. Begin with the music of your family’s native land and slowly expand to other cultures and countries. See if your children can identify common themes. How is all music alike? How is it different?
Read, read, read.
Books open the doors into other worlds and other lives. Choose books that celebrate the diversity of life while expressing the similarities among children around the world. Your children will identify with young protagonists, even though their customs or dress may be different. A few suggestions:
· The Family Book by Todd Parr
· The Scholastic Big Book of Holidays Around the Year by Susan Dillon
· Come to the Great World: Poems from Around the Globe by Wendy Cooling
Celebrate life. Seek out opportunities to interact with children and families from other cultures. Spin the globe, pick out a country and dress up or prepare a meal from that land. Street fairs, holiday celebrations and museums are all fun and exciting ways to immerse your children in the beauty and diversity of life.
Dr. Z says,“Encourage a celebration of cultures near and far, including your own, to help your child grow to be an accepting, compassionate adult, who values the differences in others.”

This Guest Post was written by Mr Dan Gilbert. 

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