How do you teach your children about other cultures? (Circle of Moms Sweepstakes)

Community - posted on 12/27/2010 ( 111 moms have responded )

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Circle of Moms, in partner with Alphabet Kids, is giving away one (1) set of children's books today. To enter, simply answer the above question. The contest closes tonight at 11.59pm EST.

The Alphabet Kids (www.alphabetkids.com) follows the fun adventures of a group of diverse children who learn about their multicultural backgrounds. Their stories help children to love who they are and realize that people who are different can be very good friends.

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If you have any problems entering this contest or have questions about this contest, please e-mail Circle of Moms at info@circleofmoms.com.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Corynn - posted on 12/27/2010

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My children live in a big world, so to teach them about other cultures and diversity, I surround them by it. We have gone to the country to horse farms, orchards to pick fruit, center city to the playground and we walk around our suburban neighborhood, meeting new people everywherevwe go. We do crafts related to holidays of different religions. Whenever there is someone or something culturally different in their presence, I always explain things to them. Too many parents steer their child away or shush them from such experiences but how else are they to learn. It's all about observation, open-mindedness and compassion for one another. Thank You.

Karen - posted on 12/28/2010

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The best way to teach your children about other cultures is, yes, expose them to various books, but it is also important to expose them to other cultures. For instance Kwanzaa occurs from 26 December to 1 January. Look for various Kwanzaa celebrations that may be occurring. January is the Chinese New Year, take them to a Chinese New Year celebration. Your child should never be raised in a cacoon, after-all, they will go out into the world sometime.

Crystal - posted on 12/27/2010

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My boys are two and three. They don't seem to notice yet differences in people. We spend a lot of time with Cds, DVDs, tv shows, and books that have lots of information about different cultures. We also enjoy cooking from different cultures (cooking and eating together is HUGE in our family). So, we share cultures that way as well. We make it a weekly thing to learn about a different culture and create a meal or dessert or craft item inspired by that culture.

Elena - posted on 12/27/2010

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Her father & I both have friends w/ children from other cultures. We let our children interact with each other. Also, we like a lot or ethnic restaurants, so she is very much experienced in the food!

Tina - posted on 12/27/2010

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through experience all tho my children are young we go and try new foods as well as attending different festivals related to different cultures

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111 Comments

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Samantha - posted on 12/28/2010

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We answer all their questions and teach them the correct names for cultures. They watch shows about it and we try to explain the best we can when they ask us.

Londa - posted on 12/28/2010

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I have done this a little but have not thought about the upcoming events. I am going to search these celebration in are area and take my kids to them. Thanks.

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I am in total agreement with Londa. We hail from the Carribbean; my grandfather Scottish, my grandmother Carib Indian, our adoptive family is Jewish, my sister-in-law is Italian, my husband is a descendant of Native American and we've got everything else in between (lol). I've been asked numberous times if am my nephew's nanny or if my son is hispanic or about my daughter's "good hair" and instead of becoming defensive or upset; I simply smile and educate them about our rainbow family (lol). Today's society is ripe with intolerance, but my children are immune to it as we lead by example. Life would so much richer if we took the time to educate ourselves on our differences. Allow our children to interact...

Londa - posted on 12/28/2010

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Through books and talking about different cultures. Our family is of mix race and then my brother and sisters have married into multiple races which leads to discussions with my kids. I also teach them everyone is different and special and they should be respected.

Latresha - posted on 12/28/2010

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I think the best way is to make sure as parents we have diverse friends and most likely that will produce diverse children for them to hang out with. It's great to teach children to respect other cultures but if there is no diversity amongst your friends I think that may cause confusion.

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Fortunately, the elementary school in our area is very diverse in cultures. My daughter has attended her school since Kindergarten & will be graduating 5th grade in June 2011. She has had the chance to study under teachers of different nationalities & religions. Her classmates come from all over the world & speak many languages. This, along with the teaching we give her at home, has helped her to understand that people are people, no matter the color of their skin, the language they speak, or the God they worship.

Elyssa - posted on 12/28/2010

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We belong to a progressive Conservation Shul (synagogue) whose doors are open to anyone of any faith, and that tenant extends to her preschool. We have friends who are Asian, Black, and Latino in her class alone! We love the little melting pot we have in our school!

When she asked me about the differences in skin color, language and beliefs of her classmates, I explained to her that HaShem

(G-d) made us all different because if we were all the same, it would be very boring!! And that just like there are many colors in the rainbows that G-d shows us after it rains, he wanted to have a rainbow on Earth all the time!

It's been hard, especially during the winter holidays, because Channukah is such a minor holiday, in relation to others in Judaism, but it's so present in society, I needed to help her understand that most people we meet don't know we're Jewish and they might say "Merry Xmas" to us.

She said, "That's ok, Ima (momma), I just say "Thank you, but we're not a Xmas family, we're a Channukah family!" Because she is respectful and sweet about being greeted that way, it always leave the greeter with a smile on their face and in their hearts!!



Happy Holidays!!

Amy - posted on 12/28/2010

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My children have been brought up around two cultures already. But I make every effort to keep them aware of the fact that there are many different kinds of people, that speak many different languages. There are several programs on childrens television that explore different cultures and we read books that talk about it as well. But they will always be taught that different is not the same as "bad" or "wrong". Differences make this world colorful and wonderful.

Jennifer - posted on 12/28/2010

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I have a 16 year old daughter and I have done my best to expose her to various cultures over her short 16 years. I have done so by taking her to local cultural centers near where we live. It allows us the opportunity to discuss a culture and their belief systems and at the same time, enjoy a fun day out together and experience some authentic cultural foods.

When I was young, my dad used to take us to some of his friends houses who were from other cultures. I learned that it is respectful to follow their customs when in their houses. This gave me the chance to learn a lot about other cultures. It also helped me to learn to use Chopsticks at a young age. LOL

My mom also worked for the "Transcultural Nursing Society", which is a group of Nurses dedicated to learning about various cultures with the belief that by respecting and allowing sick people to practice their customs, we allow them to heal faster because a persons belief system is integral to how they feel about themselves and others. If a person has a positive outlook, it has been proven they are more likely to heal faster and be discharged quicker from the hospital.

The world has so much to offer in the way of other cultures, foods, and clothing. We are so interconnected now because of Technology. We owe it to ourselves to enjoy ALL the world has to offer by learning about other cultures. I think that books would be a wonderful addition to our expeditions and a great learning tool for those who don't have access to as many wonderful cultures as I do.

Understanding other cultures is the building blocks to erasing racism, and hatred toward groups of people. We all have great things about our cultures and things that are not so great. There is so much out there to explore. I am glad that I live in a time where these explorations are possible.

Marcia - posted on 12/28/2010

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Others cultures is our every day life. I a from another country and each of my family members life in a diferent country. We are all citizens of the world.

Chaya - posted on 12/28/2010

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I have told my daughter all of her live that all people, all cultures, all faiths are good for that family or group of people. One thing I do is encourage her to ask if she sees people doing something different than what she'd do. It is okay to ask how one faith/ culture is different than another. Additionally, we go to a multi cultural church, so she sees people from different countries, everyone asks them how they celebrate Christmas in their country of origin, or why they participate in arranged marriages. If it works for that culture, more power to em

Krista - posted on 12/28/2010

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We constantly learn about other cultures because we are expat residents in a foreign country, my husband and I are from 2 different countries and my children find themselves being called "3rd culture" kids for all sorts of different reasons. Every day we have conversations about difference; cultures, religions, abilities, neighbourhoods and kinds of homes. We turn to books, stories, magazines and other media to help explain our circumstances and culture to our children but I realize more and more that they learn the most from how we demonste understanding through daily acts and routines.

Sandie - posted on 12/27/2010

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We are so very lucky to live in an area with very diverse cultures, in our school district there are almost 70 different languages spoken which has become quite a challenge for the school district. For most of the students and the parents it is fantastic as there are so very many cultures to interact on an almost daily basis. Our children and now grandchildren didn't really understand that someone might be "different" when all are different and they easily accept the concept. The only problem has come from a few of the families of minority cultures who do not want their children to interact socially with children outside their culture. Fortunately this doesn't happen often. So for parents who don't have this advantage don't let your children ever think anyone is "different", for whatever reason. Rather if it is someone of a different color, different physical ability, can't speak English, whatever it is that strikes your child as making them different. Take the supposed difference and turn it around to show how they are different to others. We are all special individuals and no one is the same!

Maria - posted on 12/27/2010

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Well being a born and raised Puerto Rican, Ive had to teach my children about our culture, and since we are a mix of other cultures, Ive had introduce those cultures to them as well. We go through books, magazines and even the internet to learn about other cultures, but I always use something exciting lk a movie that was made there, someone famous, amazing places about them, so they get interested in learning it

Michelle - posted on 12/27/2010

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Language is the key to understanding and connecting with a culture. Teaching your child a new language is much more than simple acquiring a new tongue. Language broadens your child's world. It's a window into a new culture and way of thinking. When you expose your child to a second language, your little one immediately becomes part of a larger community. While we don't speak these languages ourselves, we have taught our 5 and 3 year old how to speak Chinese and Spanish. They now have a deep understanding of the cultures associated with these languages. I have blogged about their experience learning these languages, http://www.thelanguageplayground.com/mom...

I just love watching my little ones get immersed in these cultures through language.

Candi - posted on 12/27/2010

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When other religions are celebrating a holiday, I try to discuss it with my children. For example, for Hanukkah, we painted dreidels. They're three, so we don't go in depth, but I try to expose them to the concepts. Also, one of my twins has cerebral palsy, so we're constantly around children who have a variety of abilities. This exposes them to the many different types of people who are in the world, and they're able to make friends with almost anyone. One of my twins, Christopher, always asks the kids around him to play with him, and we encourage this openness to building relationships with other children of all abilities and backgrounds. Finally, we read and listen to music almost constantly. A lot of our reading is about people from other backgrounds. We also try to listen to a variety of music from many sources, which I hope will help them to reach out to other people. Words and music are powerful ways for people to understand one another.

Ji-Young - posted on 12/27/2010

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My husband and I have made it a point to make at least one big family vacation every year, usually to somewhere that is different from where we live. We want them to see all various types of people, cultures, environments, lifestyles, etc. We also take them to various cultural festivals and events to teach them about other culture's music, food, people, art, etc.

Eunice - posted on 12/27/2010

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I encourage her to choose wisely friends from different cultures ad from there they teach each other about their different cultures.I also ensure that she reads and watches programmes about cultures

Kristin - posted on 12/27/2010

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We do theme nights. We have to research the culture a bit first, but my kids are now older 10 and 12. We make their foods, we try and follow some of their traditions IE if it's Indian food we eat with our right hand and wipe with your left when you go to the bathroom. We learn different ways to say please and thank-you in each culture. If it's Japanese we might eat with chopsticks and sit on the floor on cushions with our shoes off and our legs crossed. For Africa we played a game with beans and a wooden box called Awari. We try and make it fun but educational as well. We are very lucky though, our kids will eat anything and everything. This year we took them across the globe. Another way to educate them as they get older is to do missionary trips to build houses and schools. Our children are in Spanish immersion which stresses many of the Spanish speaking cultures. They get quite excited to learn this way.

Julie - posted on 12/27/2010

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Well, we're lucky enough to be homeschoolers, and we use immersion. For example, we were learning about Greek myth and legends, so we read a lot of books, watched a few movies (Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief and Clash of the Titans, and 300) and a documentary or two, and brought a few books. We went and spent some time with my brother in law who is Greek, and we made Greek food. We also learnt about the history of the Olympics and how different it is today. We checked out the Greek language and they wrote their names in Greek. We homeschool our children, and its the best way to get them interested in other cultures by showing them and getting as much hands on as possible.

Marian - posted on 12/27/2010

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We take our children (both three) to every cultural event we can. This means that they annually attend events like Matariki (Maori New Year), Chinese New Year and Diwali. We make an effort to take the boys to exhibitions from visiting countries at our national museum and then get books from the library to discuss what they've seen. We are fortunate to live in a very multicultral country, New Zealand, so there are plenty of opportunities to visit different ethic events throughout the year. The boys are very aware of other countries as I have 15 penfriends who all write regularly and we check the letterbox for new foriegn mail. When we have a letter we check out on Google Earth were my friend is living and look at images from the country in question. Having lived in the UK, Turkey and Kuwait, we cook a variety of food for the kids that is part of our normal diet. At Christmas we looked at how people around the world celebrated Christmas and what people of non-Christian religions would celebrate instead of Christmas. One of the best ways we expose our kids to other cultures is to travel, even if it's only to Australia we do a lot of fun games with the kids leading up to a trip to talk about what we may see, how people might be different and the types of food they may taste. We buy CDs from places we visit of any indigenous music and we play it for the kids while they watch any videos we have taken. Our kids learn about other cultures though taste, sight, smells and touch but most they learn when they play with other children of different cultures to my husband and I - little people learn a lot from each other as they share their lives!

Karen - posted on 12/27/2010

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As a teacher, I have access to lots of things in music and literature that I have collected over the years. Some travel items are also great discussion starters and we make it a part of everyday life and conversation. It doesn't hurt to live in a wonderfully diverse city like Sacramento where we have friends from all different cultures--every day is a learning experience!

Sabrina - posted on 12/27/2010

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Having friends and families from all walks of life and introducing my child to their practices, food, languages, etc. When they have questions, I am open about answering those questions and using books and photographs to highlight the experiences that each culture/or individual experiences.

Shanna - posted on 12/27/2010

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My son Aden is 4 years old, he can tell you that his great grandma was born in Costa Rica. I believe in keeping an open mind for my son and myself, about other cutlers.

Susan - posted on 12/27/2010

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My grown children still remember when our home school group had a missionary from the Wycliffe Bible Association came and talked about the translation work. This was pretty exciting to them and a good way to talk about other cultures.

Crystal - posted on 12/27/2010

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I take my daughters to a lot of different festivals and events. We live in a very multicultural area so there is always something to go to, like chinese new year or diwali. I feel this gives them a hands on experence.

Molly - posted on 12/27/2010

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My sons are 5 and 7. Although we live in a relatively small, homogeneous city, we take every opportunity to learn about other cultures through performances, food fairs, etc. The boys started doing TaeKwonDo this year, so are learning how to speak Korean (fortunately, the parents of one of their teammates if from Korea!) We have visited Native American pow-wows in nearby communities and large art and history museums when we visit big cities. We also read, watch challenging TV, and just talk about what makes people different and the same all around the world. The most important thing is to not shy away from their questions. Even if children don't have the most politically-correct vocabulary to ask questions, it is important to provide answers - even if the answer is "I don't know, let's look it up!"

User - posted on 12/27/2010

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We speak with my 9 months daughter in our 3 lenguages, Italian (mine) Spanish (dad) and English. Grandma is writing her a book about her Italian side of the family and we tell her about Italy and Mexico.

Jennifer - posted on 12/27/2010

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I have a teenager and my nephews and niece are 9, 4 and 4. I work for a major university in my town and this year we participated in hosting an international student for Thanksgiving. This gave the kids a chance to interact and ask questions.

Shecki - posted on 12/27/2010

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We've always been interested in learning about people around our world. As homeschoolers, we've studied different nations' food, clothing, culture, holidays, etc. But I think the thing that has made the biggest impact is that we just adopted a child from China. Living with a 3 year old who doesn't speak English is teaching them so much about how the world is a very big, diverse place.

Caroline - posted on 12/27/2010

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We're a multi-cultural family so we attend many different functions, festivals, and religious events. We don't just talk or read about it (although we do those things too) but we get out there and interact and enjoy the many different gifts and talents that each culture provides.

Katherine - posted on 12/27/2010

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My daughters best friend is Chinese and she also has friends that are from India and Romania.
At her school they have a multi-cultural night too. So she learns a lot hands on.

Dianne - posted on 12/27/2010

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I have always kept an open conversation going with my four children, so if they see something they consider "weird," I have been quick to correct them to "different." We have attended pow-wows, culturally diverse events, and local Cinco de Mayo celebrations. I have bought music from Brazil (a cd at Target) when I was turning 40 and my daughter was turning 16 Brazil is at 16/40 longitude/latitude), a wooden musical frog-shaped instrument from Vietnam through the Hunger Site, and I subscribed to "Teaching Tolerance,"a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center. When they were young, we read books about Eskimo, Native American, black, Jewish, and Chinese families, among others. I truly believe learning about other cultures is not actually "taught;" rather it is an attitude of respect, insight and acceptance that is "caught" from primary caregivers. ♥

Georgina - posted on 12/27/2010

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my kids love looking at picture books and ask what things are and why they wear different clothes. They also love watching some shows (like Dora and Diego) As they are only 2 and 4 years old they are more interested in the animals but my 4 year old is starting to notice more and learn. My step father is Italian and the kids had someone from the Solomon Islands in thier life at one stage. So colour and different accents are quiet normal to them:)

Melissa - posted on 12/27/2010

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We have many friends who are different cultures so we teach my daughter about them and what they are doing and why. And we also use books that have different characters

[deleted account]

We are fortunate to have a culturally diverse family. My husband and I like to select activities that stress it's okay to be different. We read books and watch DVDs or programs that cater to this philosophy rather than a philosophy of pointing out differences.

Nedra - posted on 12/27/2010

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I teach my daughter about other cultures generally by answering any questions she has. She is very observant and inquisitive. I use comparison and sometimes even a little geography when explaining different cultures and backgrounds. I try to give her as many interesting facts as possible. We expand her knowledge about cultural diversity using books, television, the internet and by immersing her into diverse environments where she can interact with children of different backgrounds.

Rae - posted on 12/27/2010

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my children are still very young, we read a book called the peace book it introduces young children to other cultures and lifestyles. There is festivals that are held in the nearest town to us to try to promote diversty which we sometimes go to.

Tito - posted on 12/27/2010

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OK, I live in Bosnia, and here we have three main "cultures" living side by side... We might not differ so much physicaly, but in the customs we do... My daughter is just 4 years old, but she's very smart and asks a lot of questions and don't give up until she receives satisfactory answer ;o) But I must admit that I still didn't have to explain to her WHY do we do or don't do this or that, or look this way or that... I believe it's because in our home we always talked about differencies like about something normal, which exists without need to have a reason.

Brandy - posted on 12/27/2010

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Mostly through books, and school. We talk about other cultures when questions arise, but it is hard to always know how to bring it up and introduce new information.

Collette - posted on 12/27/2010

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We read books, eat different foods, and overall mainly try to immerse her in different cultures. I speak another language and have been teaching her words and phrases since she could talk. Also, being in school with students from different backgrounds was very important to me because I believe the more we are exposed to those differnces we will appeciate them.

Jennifer - posted on 12/27/2010

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I have a diverse group of friends and try to bring him to as many group activities or get together s for him to get an experience and explain what the event is about. Festivals are also a great way for children to learn and get the experience of other cultures if travel is not possible.

[deleted account]

Through books; looking at maps and telling them about the different countries; we receive The Voice of the Martyrs magazine and use that to share things with our oldest; my husband and I are both well traveled and share stories of the places that we have been; we also like to try foods from different places.

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