Compared to thirty or forty years ago, it is now much more likely that a child will be born to parents who hail from two different cultures, two different countries, two different backgrounds entirely- just like my multicultural family. This type of multiculturalism is something that should be celebrated and boosted within the family dynamic. With elements of every single corner of a person’s heritage being explored and highlighted whenever possible.
The melting pot of different cultures across the world is too rich and too plentiful to hold anything back. Raising a child to actively recognize and celebrate every side of themselves and their family is a beautiful thing. The same can be said for single culture families who simply want to broaden their horizons! With that in mind, here are some tips for how you can raise multicultural children in the most celebratory way.
Multicultural family tips:
Learn A New Language
Try to strike a connection with more than just a child’s birthplace by encouraging them to learn a second language. Whether this is a language relating to their heritage or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is opening yourself up to different corners of the world in a communication sense. Resources like language learning apps are the perfect tool for introducing children to a new language in a fun and effective way. One of the most recommended apps is Babbel, that has an array of languages, including Spanish courses for example.
Teach Them About Various Cultures
When telling stories to your children, make a conscious effort to include stories and anecdotes that contain different cultures and backgrounds in them. This is a simple way to start weaving in the fact that your child’s life experience isn’t necessarily the same as other children around the world. It will spark their interest in discovering more.
Read to Them
All kids love a good bedtime story, so get diverse with your bedtime books you choose. There are a multitude of amazing multicultural children’s books on the market that actively work to entertain little ones. At the same time, it can teach them about cultures, people, and languages too.
Experiment with Cultural Foods
Food can often be the key that unlocks interest and passion about cultures. It can be exciting for children to try things outside of their normal dietary bubble! Make a fun experience out of this by having different cultural food nights throughout the week. Think about all of the amazing dinners you can make for your children. Italian night, Spanish night, Indian night, Mexican night and more can feature at your table. Not only will their taste buds be awakened to some of the best cuisines in the world, but you can also use the meals as an opportunity to widen the conversation about the various cultures.
Host Exchange Students
If you are passionate about injecting multiculturalism into your child’s life then host a foreign exchange student in your home. It can assist a student in achieving their educational dreams, and provides your family with first-hand experience of a different culture and language on a daily basis.
Travel with children is not easy but it is doable. If you want to raise your child as multicultural, then taking them to different countries around the world is the best way to showcase what this world has to offer!
The bottom line is the more multicultural experiences a child has in their formative years, the more open to new and different experiences and people they are going to be as adults. This can only ever lead to a more rounded and successful life and career.