Jan 112013

The ABCs of Raising a World CitizenWelcome to the final day 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!

For a list of all of the posts in the ABC’s of Raising a World Citizen, you can visit our main page.  For a full list of the blogs in this series, go to the ABC’s of… Main Page.

“Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own selves.” – Bahá’u’lláh

U is for…Unity in DiversityChild with globe and flags

When I was a kid, growing up in the Bahá’í community, we were taught that the diverse peoples of the world were like the varied flowers in a garden – the different shades and shapes of the flowers only added to the garden’s beauty.  This concept is known “unity in diversity,” meaning that our differences aren’t threatening when understood within the context of humanity’s underlying unity.

I had the privilege of discussing this concept recently with author and activist Homa Sabet Tavangar, in an interview on Enable Me to Grow.  You can find more ideas about how to impart this idea to your kids on her website, Growing Up Global, as well as in her wonderful book of the same name.

V is for…VolunteeringInvolving Kids in Service - Alldonemonkey.com

The idea of citizenship encompasses responsibilities as well as privileges.  As essential part of raising our children to be world citizens is teaching them the idea of service to others, from a very early age.  Children who grow up with a love of serving humanity will truly help change the world into a more peaceful, loving home for all of us.

Here are some resources to help you brainstorm how to make volunteering a natural part of your child’s life:

W is for…World Citizen

Ultimately, when you embark on this journey to raise a world citizen, you have to ask yourself what you’re doing it for.  Is it just because being global is “cool” these days?  Is it an attempt to give your child an edge in his or her career later in life?  Or is it something deeper than that?

For me, being a world citizen is simply a part of how I was raised, an essential part of our beliefs about our purpose on this planet.  You can read more about my inspiration in this guest post on Bilingual Babes about what being a world citizen means to me.

What is your inspiration?  Why is it important to you to raise your child to be a world citizen?

X is for…eXposureMama Smiles - Raising Globally Aware Children

So much of child-rearing in general is about exposing your children to different experiences, giving them the foundation to explore even more as they grow older.  The same is true for raising a world citizen.  Exposing your child to different cultural experiences early on will prime them to explore other traditions and parts of the world later in life.  A child who is familiar with other cultures and comfortable with trying new things is already ahead of the game, so give your child this exposure from a young age.

Golden Gleam, for example, teaches us how to turn a trip to an ethnic grocery store into a scavenger hunt adventure for your child.

In her list of tips for raising globally aware kids, Mama Smiles also emphasizes the need to expose children to diverse experiences, such as visiting living history sites and taking advantage of local diversity.

Y is for…Yummy!Around the World in 12 Dishes

One of the most fun ways to teach your child about the world is through enjoying together foods from other places.  Food and especially cooking are so evocative of place and time, that they are also a wonderful way to teach your child about his or her heritage, as beautifully described in this post by Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes.

For us, cooking some Costa Rican dishes for Monkey is a way for us and him to connect to family abroad, and for my husband to share treats from his childhood, such as Tamal Asado (Costa Rican corn cakes) and Tamarind juice pops.

Food is also a way to “travel without traveling.”  One mother, unable to do much traveling after her daughter was born, decided to “visit” a new country with her each week through learning about its cuisine together.  (Watch her interview about her amazing Global Table project).  This week, for example, they are visiting Senegal.  Warning: her photography is so gorgeous, it is impossible to visit this site without your mouth watering!Global Table Adventure - Senegal Food

Another great resource is the Around the World in 12 Dishes series, in which each month a group of bloggers learns about a new country by cooking dishes from there with their kids.  One example is this Indian Mango Lassi from the Golden Gleam and Moroccan Marrakech Tagine from Glittering Muffins.



Z is for…amaZingRed-Eyed Tree Frog, Costa Rica

Finally, in raising a world citizen, it is helpful to excite your child’s imagination and curiosity by sharing what an amazing world we live in.  Because ultimately the goal is to raise a child you becomes an adult who is actively engaged with the world and has a love affair with it as passionate as yours is.

A great resource to use is the Exploring Geography series on Mama Smiles, where bloggers from around the world share kid-friendly introductions to the places they love.  (For example, you can read our contribution about Costa Rica).

Thank you to all of the bloggers who let us share their posts and pictures here!

Thank you for joining us on this trip around the world!  We hope these tips have been useful to you as you raise your own little world citizens.  What are your favorite tips for raising a child at home in the world?

To see a listing of all the posts in this series, visit our main ABC’s of Raising a World Citizen page.


ABC’s of…Mom Tips and Tricks

Check out these other great ABC’s series from the bloggers of the Kid Blogger Network:


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.

  10 Responses to “The ABC’s of … Raising A World Citizen: U – Z”

  1. This was so awesome. Thanks for sharing the ABCs of Raising a Global Citizen with us. I was eagerly waiting to see what you would do with X!

  2. This is wonderful! I love how you chose Z as amaZing! What a resourceful series for raising a world citizen. Thank you!

  3. I love the thought you put into what you wrote for each letter – U for unity in diversity and Z for amaZing. This is a beautifully written series, and thank you for letting me have a small part in it by sharing my Exploring Geography series and post about raising globally aware kids!

  4. Great ABC series, Leanna! Thanks so much for sharing my 100 Acts of Kindness Project post. I didn’t actually create 100 Acts of Kindness, though. I learned about it through Toddler Approved. It really is an awesome project! 🙂

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this series Leanna – so well thought out and tons of great ideas and links.

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