Friday, April 9, 2010

Helping children appreciate their heritage

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I thought this article important, "Family culture deserves appreciation, celebration," especially for young people who have yet to appreciate their heritage. We might want to consider ways to engage young people at an earlier age, instead of its taking until they are all grown up. 

Here are some ideas:
  • Serving traditional foods, as the article shows
  • Sharing family stories -- everyone loves the stories
  • Displaying family photos on display showing, which might include something like the immigrant ancestor's ship, which can often be found on the Internet
  • Attending cultural festivals
  • Participating in family reunions, maybe encouraging presentation, plays, or enactments of heritage
  • Sharing books and art about/from your culture
  • Helping children keeping a scrapbook
Of course, there is a fine line between helping children appreciate their heritage and making them feel "different" from their peers, so there is a balance. Adoptive parents often face this dilemma and many articles are written on the subject.

One article on helping Jewish children appreciate their culture suggests, "at home, the most important thing is modeling. Modeling for our children our own attachment to, and reverence for" their cultural heritage. That is the best advice.

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