A commonly asked question is how, exactly can I teach my child to respect another culture?
We have these strategies for you to try that are based on models for conflict resolution and communication enhancement strategies that may be just the things you need to ensure your child learns respect for cultural diversity and grows up to be a tolerant and considerate adult.
The following steps may help to increase your child’s awareness and acceptance of other cultures and make them a more open-minded and tolerant person.
Be a role model
Children are naturally visual learners and will base many of their behaviors on what they see and observe, especially the behavior of their parents or those taking care of them. If you have the opportunity, model your positive behavior and interactions with people of other cultures openly and in view of your child so they can learn by your example. They know what they are shown, so show them the correct and respectful way.
Let them learn another language
All cultures are defined by the language they use. There is no better way for a child to be exposed to the deeper parts of a different culture than by learning another language. This exposes them to different ways of thinking, expands their minds and can create a greater interest in the new culture, as well as fostering a deeper acceptance of others differences. It also greatly increases their ability to communicate with different people.
Communication is the key to any successful and tolerant society. Encourage your child to ask questions and discuss with them openly the differences they notice or are curious about. When your child asks, take the time to answer in a way they will understand and learn from. If they can communicate and are shown that it is okay to ask questions and express polite curiosity about different people, they will gain the exposure and knowledge necessary to interact with and accept other cultures.
As a parent, you probably know the importance of having respect for other cultures and the importance of diversity in modern society. Today, we are exposed to more cultures and diverse peoples than ever before, whether it be through communication, business dealings or education.The importance of understanding and respect are paramount in creating and ensuring a more peaceful, tolerant and accepting world, a concept of which our children should all be taught.