Growing up as part of a multicultural household is an absolutely beautiful experience for a child to have. Multicultural children are more likely to grow into truly tolerant, curious adults who feel at ease around many different types of people. They’re more likely to feel confident and comfortable in a variety of situations. They’re going to have a greater appreciation for their ancestry and family history as well. However, there’s a fine art to raising multicultural children properly and to truly helping your children embrace every side of their heritage. The following tips can help.
- Discuss Heritage Often
Children are very curious by nature, especially when they’re young. Yours are bound to have lots of questions about not only their own heritage, but other people’s as well. Always encourage open discussion about culture and ethnicity. Take a welcoming approach to questions your children ask. Go out of your way to react to racism, prejudice, and intolerance when you see it in other people or in the news as well. Setting a great example for your children in regards to how they should navigate the world around them is the best way to make sure they grow up to be secure in themselves, as well as willing to stand up for other people.
- Expose Your Children to Different Languages
If different languages are part of your family’s cultural heritage, you’d do well to make sure your children are exposed to them all as they grow up. It’s the best way to make sure they’re truly comfortable speaking more than one. Definitely speak your native language around your children, but don’t hesitate to teach them others, even if you’re not adept at speaking them yourself. Consider making the switch to a bilingual television service as well. DISH Latino packages are a great way to expose your children to popular television shows, sports, educational resources, and more in both English and Spanish. You can also explore DishLATINO internet options for your household if you wish.
- Cultivate a Strong Family Identity
Childhood traditions often become powerful touchstones for children as they grow into adulthood and eventually start families of their own. Look for ways to integrate your cultural heritage into the way you bond together as a family. Make it a point to serve a variety of different meals that stem from various parts of your background. Make sure you expose your children to different types of music, styles of dress, and religious traditions. Attending different cultural events as a family can also provide lots of amazing teaching moments. Most importantly, make sure you always treat the various parts of your children’s heritage with equal levels of admiration, interest, and respect.
- Let Your Child Choose How to Identify
All people are different when it comes to the labels they might choose to adopt. Some children do choose to identify the same way one of their parents does, but many multicultural children eventually choose to label themselves differently. For example, you may consider your children Latino or Hispanic, but they may think of themselves as Mexican-American, Chicano, or even just American, period. The labels a person identifies with become big part of their personal identity as they get older, so it’s important to let your children pick the options that feel right to them.
While it’s true that raising multicultural children well and teaching them to appreciate every aspect of their heritage is challenging, it’s definitely not impossible. Take advantage of opportunities to educate, teach, and guide your children. The rest they’ll figure out on their own as they grow into the adults they were meant to be.