Cultural and diversity awareness is an integral part of early childhood development to become a holistically welcoming and respectful individual. Babies as young as six months old can be captivated by photographs of humans of various skin colours. Cultural awareness is concerned with the diversity in people’s lifestyles, backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs. Exposing children to all of these things at a young age allow them to acquire a higher tolerance for difference and diversity.
Culturally conscious children are more inclined to interact with children who do not look like them. The opportunity can have a significant influence on their academic and professional success. It also promotes harmony in both the public and private spheres. Making your children culturally aware is especially crucial in a multicultural country like Singapore.
8 Ways to Cultivate Empathy in Children Through Cultural Awareness
Introducing your children to various cultures, your own family and others foster fascination, appreciation and empathy in their early childhood development. The ability to listen, communicate, cooperate, and problem-solve benefits from empathising with various cultures. When youngsters learn about a culture other than their own, a universe of possibilities opens up for them. Learning about a new culture fosters an interest in understanding and appreciating different ways of life.
Here are eight tips on how parents can motivate their children to be culturally aware.
#1 Throw a Festive Party
Host a party that highlights various aspects of a culture. One of the best methods on how you can motivate your children to learn about a culture is by providing fun activities. Singapore is home to many multicultural families. Introduce your child to one of your roots by telling them folktales passed down from generation to generation. Ask them to help you cook a favourite dish your grandparents or mother made for you when you were growing up. Celebrate various traditions and feasts that you participated in growing up. You can do the same for other cultures you want to introduce.
#2 Listen to Music from Various Parts of the World
One of the easiest ways to introduce language and culture to children is through music. It can be through a song or various instruments indigenous to any culture. Play a nursery rhyme to a child in different languages. World music serves as a musical gateway into another culture. You may also produce music that is stimulating and thrilling for all ages. Take, for example, African hand drumming. Children can truly experience what it feels like to generate a strong sound as a group.
#3 Learn How People Solve Problems in Their Culture
Each country or ethnicity has its way to solve real-world problems. Various countries and cultures can also offer parenting tips that benefit Singapore parents. Encourage your family to discuss obstacles to learn how other cultures deal with real-world issues. Allow your children to suggest a culture they are interested in to spark their imagination and interest.
#4 Host a Cross-Cultural Bash
Your group might examine a country of interest or link to family background. Assume you’ve decided to throw a French fête. Serve crêpes, quiche, and French pastries. If your kids are interested in Italian cuisine, throw a pizza and pasta party. You can let them create their pizzas with their favourite toppings. One of the best ways to celebrate culture is through food and parties.
#5 Visit Cultural Centres and Museums
Schedule a family field trip to a museum or cultural centre. Visit the National Museum of Singapore and learn the rich history of Singapore. It will introduce them to how Singapore became what it is today. There is also the Asian Civilisations Museum that can introduce them to Pan-Asian cultures and civilisations. It is the region’s first to give an integrated view of Pan-Asian cultures and civilisations. It has 11 galleries with about 1,300 artefacts from the civilisations of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia on display.
#6 Learn Another Language
Your child will benefit from being multilingual from early childhood development to adulthood. Children can benefit greatly from learning a new language. The cognitive advantages are numerous, including improved problem-solving abilities, creativity, and communication. But, perhaps most crucially, learning a new language encourages self-reflection and self-examination. Learning a new language is like opening a door into a new worldview and comprehension of the universe. Your children will learn to think in new ways.
#7 Encourage your family to volunteer.
Choose a subject that ignites the passion and interest of your whole family. Demonstrate that you are not part of a monoculture devoid of splendour and biodiversity. Volunteering might entail taking care of a park, a library, a museum, or any other organisation. It simply feels good to serve others, and it is a great gift to give our children. Exposing your children to various viewpoints and experiences will open up their world in new and exciting ways. It will fill their early childhood development years with tales, melodies, food, art, etc.
Children are more likely to grasp abstract concepts such as diversity and inclusion when made accessible and relatable in their early childhood development. Talking to children about how they appreciate diverse meals, clothing, games, and hobbies is a fantastic approach to demonstrating the value of diversity in their daily lives. It makes it easier for children to grasp how diversity in individuals helps people experience how variety makes life more fascinating, thrilling and entertaining.
Visit a child development and educational consultant in Singapore like Carean Oh. She will assist you in determining the best techniques for inspiring your children to enhance their academic performance. She offers assistance and a comprehensive approach to early childhood development for families.
Carean Oh believes in listening to her inner voice. Being a teacher means doing what is correct, ethical, and sincere. She seeks to teach children holistically as developing humans. You can also enrol your children in her writing courses for students in Singapore. Contact Carean Oh and her office for any additional queries or information. You can also visit her website for more informational materials.