Cultural Tolerance at Child Academies
Multiple cultures make up the population of the United States, making it a diverse playground for children growing up. Creating an awareness in children about this diversity from a young age is crucial for an ever-growing globalized population. Preschool is often the first place where children are brought into contact with this concept and so it is necessary to learn respect at this first interaction.
With the Judeo-Christian holiday season coming up it is important not to forget about other cultural celebrations and holidays. Young children are generally exposed to one cultural group and the values of their family. There is a chance that your child is oblivious to the fact that some people will not be celebrating the same holidays as them, therefore it is necessary to create a space for cultural awareness. We should teach children not to assume that their culture applies to everyone else. Some examples of cultural celebrations include:
- Christmas: While many chidren associate this day with gifts and Santa, this Christian holiday coomemorates the birth of Jesus Chist. Encourage your children to learn more about this holiday by reading the nativity story.
- Hanukkah: Also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication, Hanukkah is celebrated over eight consecutive nights and days. It begins on the 25th day of Kislev which falls any time between late November to late December. Teach your children more about this Jeweish holiday by reading them the story of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
- Kwanzaa: Is the celebration of the history of African Americans and their culture. It is a week long celebration observed from December 26 to January 1. Get into the spirit of Kwanzaa with your children by creating a traditional Kwanzaa meal or making Kwanzaa decorations.
- Las Posadas: This nine-day festival is primarily celebrated in Mexican communities. It begins on December 16 and ends on December 24 and commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. A fun way to teach your children more about this celebration is to dress up and re-enact the pilgramage as a family.
The benefits of being exposed to other people’s cultures at this young age are numerous. Building an interest for fellow preschooler’s heritage and beliefs is paramount because there are many valuable lessons to be learnt that can greatly benefit your child later in life. Providence Children’s Academy is a space where these crucial lessons can be learnt. Developing a tolerance for alternative ways of living and different kinds of people provides us with a more compatible lifestyle. This may alleviate other children’s senses of difference especially if they are in the minority. Children who are in cultural minorities often feel out of place because they can sense that they are not part of the norm. By encouraging cultural tolerance, we can prevent such feelings of inadequacy.
Sending your child to an academy like ours can encourage a sense of community through the act of play. During these developmental years’ children are unaware of many of the differences between them and play facilitates a sense of connectedness before a possible sense of difference becomes more apparent. Play is the groundwork for what later informs our social structures.
Learning about where we come from, where others come from and how our histories overlap, helps us understand how history impacts our values and beliefs today.
By being exposed to the differences between our cultures, and therefore between people, preschoolers are able to learn more about themselves. Understanding one’s place within society is comforting and builds confidence. By choosing a preschool or child academy that encourages respect for others’ cultures greatly impacts the positive development of your child.