Saturday, October 29, 2011

Embracing Diversity ~ Zoo Guest

Embracing Diversity at a Young Age
Article submitted by Kathleen Thomas on behalf of Primrose Schools

When you attempt to explain the idea of diversity to your child, the complexity of the task might seem overwhelming, but it is important, as it is not something immediately taught upon entering a day care center. When you concentrate on teaching your child to celebrate cultural diversity, however, you have the chance to teach an essential concept in a way that is enjoyable and effortless.

A young child has a limited perception of humanity that centers mainly on the child’s parents, other family members, neighbors, teachers and classmates. You have the ability to assist your child to expand his or her comprehension of the world by teaching your child about diverse cultures via listening to music, participating in sports and observing different animals from various countries. Your child’s comprehension of the enormous scope that the world has to offer receives inspiration from your lessons about different cultures in the world.

Your child’s character strengthens when you teach lessons about cultural diversity. When you recognize the value of different cultures, whether they represent remote countries, your immediate neighborhood or your family, you give your child the ability to mature into a tolerant, kindhearted adult who appreciates different traits in other individuals.

When you celebrate different cultures in your home, your child learns more about cultural diversity. The following tips illustrate how to demonstrate cultural diversity to your child:

Explain your family’s historical roots.

The ability to understand other individuals starts with understanding yourself. Show photographs of different family relations to your child, and tell your child true stories about each of these family members. Children love to hear stories, and they remember what they hear, so talk about fond memories you have regarding your child’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. When you show your child photographs, and combine these images with stories, your child develops a greater comprehension of your family’s roots and heritage.

Listen to music from different cultures

Music is an excellent way to share the cultural heritage of your family with your child. Play music that represents your family’s ancestry, the part of the country where you reside and music you remember from your childhood. Play songs that represent other cultures and different parts of America. Quiz your child about the different characteristics of the music.

Read books that illustrate examples of cultural diversity.

When you read books that express positive viewpoints about diversity, your child learns to appreciate people who live in other countries. A book’s plot, as well as its characters, open avenues for discussions about diversity in different cultures. Read your child books that depict characters your child easily relates to, in spite of the fact that these characters have customs that differ. Here are a few suggestions:

• It’s Okay to Be Different, written by Todd Parr
• Children from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey Around the World, written by Maya Ajmera and Anna Rhesa Versola
• The Crayon Box That Talked, written by Shane Derolf

Help your child to think outside the box.

Find unique opportunities that enable your child to meet children from other countries and backgrounds. Your family is sure to appreciate other cultures more when your children meet people who practice traditions that differ from the traditions in your family. Take your child to museums, celebrations, restaurants that feature ethnic recipes on the menus and any types of places that enable your child to study different types of traditions, cultures and diverse lifestyles.

Hi, Kathleen the Zoo would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us.  

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