Welcome to day four of this special series from 60+ bloggers from the Kid Blogger Network, all focused on exploring child-related topics from A-Z!
Our focus is on the ABC’s of Raising A World Citizen, all about raising a child at home in the world, from language learning, books, and geography games, to talking about race and appreciating diversity!
“The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” – Bahá’u’lláh
In keeping with our theme of “keeping it fun,” here are some great game and activity ideas to teach your child about the world we live in. (Be sure to also check out the board games listed in “G is for Geography”).
Why soccer? In this essay on InCultureParent, Sophie Beam discusses why this most global sport is such a wonderful tool to use in raising world citizens.
Q is for…Questions
But it’s not all fun and games, of course. Being a world citizen means tackling tough questions that plague adults as well, such as war and peace, race, and prejudice.
The most important thing is to open the lines of communication, so that your child isn’t embarrassed to ask questions. Making difficult topics taboo only serves to perpetuate misconceptions and make them even harder to root out later on.
First, it’s important to recognize that when children begin to recognize differences like skin color they usually are using their own, innocent observations, so we shouldn’t worry that they have suddenly become “racist” if they suddenly state that so-and-so us “brown” or “orange.” (Here is a great explanation of this difference from Hartlyn Kids).
Not sure where to begin? Check out these tips from Kid World Citizen for talking to kids about race. Two key points: be age-appropriate and be direct.
R is for…Respect
Hand in hand with this growing awareness of differences we must provide our children with an understanding of the need to respect those differences. For example, as members of a minority religion (the Bahá’í Faith) we have had to start early on teaching our toddler how to respect and celebrate other religious traditions.
Want a peaceful world? This thoughtful essay from Moms Gone Global makes a strong case that one of the most important contributions we can make is to raise peaceful kids that respect others. She also shares some helpful resources and ideas about how to go about this essential task.
S is for…Spirituality
As mentioned earlier in our discussion about heritage, I believe it’s necessary to ground children in your own beliefs and traditions, since this gives them a solid foundation from which to explore the world. What this means will vary from family to family. For some, like ours, this may mean education in specific religious beliefs and observation of particular holy days. For others, it may mean simply teaching their children values like gratitude and kindness.
Either way, this is the area in which respect for differences is most needed but in shortest supply. Get your child off to a good start by exposing him or her to different beliefs. If possible, visit different houses of worship together and join in holiday celebrations with friends of other faiths.
And be sure to check out this wonderful book list from Pragmatic Mom of kids’ books about world religion.
If at all possible, travel is a wonderful way to raise a world citizen. We have put a lot of effort into teaching our son about his Costa Rican heritage, but his understanding of the country and language grew by leaps and bounds when we were able to visit family there recently.
Of course, this is not practical for all families, especially when children are young, but if you can, take advantage of any opportunity to travel with your kids, even if it is to someplace new close by to where you live.
Not sure a big trip is in your budget? Consider these budgeting tips from Maroc Mama, who chose to give her kids the gift of travel this holiday season.
If you are nervous about taking long road trips with young children, try this travel timeline craft from Housing a Forest. It is a great way to help children visualize the trip and minimize the “how much longer” questions. You can read more travel tips in two recent installments of our World Citizen Wednesdays (Installment #1 and Installment #2).
A big thank you to all the bloggers who let us share their posts and pictures here!
ABC’s of…Mom Tips and Tricks
Check out these other great ABC’s series from the bloggers of the Kid Blogger Network:
- Being a Hands on Mom from hands on : as we grow
- Connecting with your Kids from One Perfect Day
- Family Field Trips with Kids from Edventures with Kids
- Fun Healthy Snacks for Kids from Juggling with Kids
- Kids Party Ideas from Mama Pea Pod
- Mama Survival from The Dizzy Mom
- Organized Home from Mamas Like Me
- Printables from Mama Miss
- Raising Boys from Boy Mama Teacher Mama
- Raising Eco-Friendly Kids from Kitchen Counter Chronicles
- Raising Girls from Mess for Less
- Raising a Healthy Kid from Living Life Intentionally
- Raising a Thinking Child from The Outlaw Mom
- Raising Toddlers from Home Learning Journey
- Raising a World Citizen from All Done Monkey
- Simply Celebrating Holidays as a Family from Inspired by Family Magazine
- Teaching Kids about Money from Carrots are Orange
- The Family Dinner Table from Connecting Family & Seoul
- Trying A New Experience with Your Children from 52 Brand New
- Values for Children from True Aim Education
For a full list of the ABC’s topics from the Kid Blogger Network, including School Activities, Learning Through Play, Literacy, and Arts and Crafts, go to the main ABC’s Series page or click on the image to the left.