10 Feb, 2017
10 : 00
Today, our children need to be aware of global issues and cultural differences more than ever. Global competence is essential to children growing into successful adults. Here at the Yew Chung International School of Beijing, we strive to instill in students these important ideologies on a daily basis, but parents play a vital role in this process as well. We’ve outlined how parents can positively influence their child’s global mindset on a day to day basis to create responsible and ethically-minded leaders for the next generation.
The Benefits of Global Awareness
A globally aware child realizes that while there are many similarities among all of us, there are many differences as well. A globally aware child learns to appreciate the differences and realizes that differences are OK.
Experts say that children who become involved in their local and global communities have greater self-esteem and enhanced social and psychological development as well as make healthier lifestyle choices. They’re also more likely to become engaged citizens as adults.
A Parent’s Impact on Their Children’s Global Understanding
No one influences a child’s global awareness and understanding more than their parents, which is why it’s important to be aware yourself regardless of your child’s age.
It’s vital to address issues as they come up in order to give your child the right message. Take the time to talk with your child so that they come to the correct understanding. When a topic such as global warming comes up, seize the opportunity to talk about it. When out shopping with your children, talk about your choices. Tell your children why you’re choosing organic fruit. At home, your children are also watching you conserve water or electricity, so being a good role model is essential.
Additionally, think beyond money and time when it comes to contributing to society. For instance, children can raise awareness through classroom projects or help the environment by riding a bike to school. Helping the environment is one important way globally aware people do to make a difference. Children are more likely to stay engaged with a cause that brings them joy. Let them organize a bake sale or car wash. When children believe it’s possible to change the world, they will grow up hopeful—and ready to roll up their sleeves. Children with high levels of cultural intelligence are better able to adapt and thrive in a complex global society.
Imbue Cultural Awareness in Your Children
Parents should strive to integrate cultural and global awareness into their everyday routines. Try these easy tips to encourage global mindedness in your children:
- Buy your child a globe or a world map and choose various countries to learn about as a family project.
- Try new foods (use the internet to look for recipes) and visit foreign restaurants.
- Check out the international food in your grocery store and investigate where these foods have come from. Try using them in your cooking!
- Listen to music from different parts of the world.
- Encourage your child to borrow books from the library that show different cultures and look for stories that incorporate characters from other cultures and countries.
- Visit local museums when exhibitions from other countries are in town.
- Learn about your own family history; this may open the door to discussions about where your family has come from.
- Attending ethnic festivals will bring the outside world to your children and give them an opportunity to experience a foreign culture first hand.
Bringing the rest of the world into your home can make a lifelong difference to your children. They will become our future leaders, so raising globally aware children is an important step in creating an empathetic generation. It’s our responsibility to help them understand environmental, social, and human rights issues around the globe and to recognize their part in providing solutions.