June 2, 2020
4 Ideas for Raising Global Citizens
A global citizen is someone who is aware of the wider world and their role within it. How can we instil these values in our children?
This is a blog that I wrote almost one year ago but it seems relevant to repost it from the vault in the Spring of 2020…
We live in a world with an abundance of cultures and languages. Yet we are bonded by the idea that we are all equal, bound together as one global community.
Global citizenship is the idea that we are responsible for our actions and our impact on the world.
A global citizen is someone who is aware of the wider world and their role within it. As a parent, you do not need to travel to every corner of the earth with your child to begin to instil these values. How do we prepare our children with the knowledge, flexibility and skills they need to engage with the wider world?
Here are 4 ideas for raising Global Citizens…
Encourage diverse and inclusive friendships
An open-mind to the value in having a diverse social group starts at home. Look at your own friendship circles – are they inclusive? What are you telling your children through your own behaviour?
A new child at school or kindergarten with a different background to your child’s? Encourage them to strike up a conversation. Speak to your children about religion and cultural differences. Do not shy away from these conversations.
It is through positive interactions with a range of people with diverse views and backgrounds that we foster tolerance and a balanced world view.
Explore the world through the pages of books
Of course, travel and adventures visiting different countries can be hugely beneficial in helping children decode the world and their place in it.
However, this is not always possible for everyone, plus, there are many places which are hard to reach!
Instead, why not explore the world through the pages of books! Books with maps can be a wonderful way to help children visualise the size and scale of the Earth. Remember that non-fiction books are suitable from a young age.
In our house we often reach for This is the World by M. Sasek. The descriptions and images transport you to cities around the world…
Start learning foreign languages
There is no better way to equip your child for navigating the world than learning the foundations of a new language.
There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, through learning a language we gain a better understanding of the cultures who use that language.
Secondly, research shows that languages boost tolerance as that there is more than one way to do things and that they can both be an equally good solution.
Finally, knowing another language supports us in our interactions with people from different backgrounds. This enables us to explore the diversity in the world round us free from communication problems and fear of the unknown.
Explore local and world culture
I always think of raising my children as “giving them roots and wings”. I want them to have a solid knowledge of their own cultures – Scottish and French. We talk about the history of these countries and make sure to celebrate important events which leads to discussions around culture and traditions.
I feel that giving them confidence in ‘where they have come from’ will assist them in their future decisions.
Giving them ‘wings’ means opening their minds to everything the world has to offer. We visit museums to learn about other countries traditions and try new recipes! One of the best parts of being part of a diverse world!
There are so many resources out there to help children learn about the world around them. Use everything available to you. Children have a thirst for knowledge and an open mind to the differences they see.
Let’s raise global citizens together.