Given the chance and enough financial support, many OFWs, migrant workers and expats bring their family with them to the host country. Some of their kids are of school age. Being in school gives children the experience of meeting other people aside from parents, relatives or siblings. Living abroad exposes children to kids from different cultural and family backgrounds. When different people meet, work and live along side each other, this is called multiculturalism.
How can you teach your child to have multicultural friends? Below are some helpful tips;
As a parent, this is the first rule. You must set a good example to your child / children about your stand on multiculturalism. You must be open to diversity to meeting and being with people from different countries. You must be willing to accept that not every person has the same likes, dislikes, views, thoughts and decisions like you.
When your child asks you questions about why that girl looks different from her or dresses differently, you can say that because you are living overseas, she will see many children who do not look like her. They may have different hair, eye or skin color. But everything is alright. They can still be friends.
Being in a different country gives your child / children the opportunity to see many new things, meet new people, other children. You can assure your child that meeting and being with many people is a gift that will give him / her many good memories as he / she grows older.
Teach your child to appreciate a new classmate who talks to him / her or tries to keep him / her company in school. When a new neighbor does simple things like giving sweets, teach your child / children to appreciate the gesture. Make sure to return the favor next time.
You can easily teach your child / children to be thankful. Being thankful and giving thanks starts at your own home. When your child has done simple things like putting his / her toys back to storage or display, as a parent, you can say “Thank you”. In this way, when other children does good to him / her, your child will know how to say “Thank you” too.
Teach your child / children to be fair to everyone even if they come from another country or culture. Teach your child that being helpful to others is good and does not harm anyone.
It is not easy to learn a new language but you must teach your child how to speak, read and write in the language where he / she will be able to communicate or talk to and be understood by other children from different countries. Here in Kuwait, English is most commonly spoken and understood by most people, expats and Kuwaitis alike.
You can teach your young child / children about patience. You can show examples how to wait for his / her milk, how to wait for food to be served, how to wait in line when using the bathroom or toilet. In this way, he / she will know how important it is to learn how to wait for his / her turn.
This also starts at home. You can do things that will be good examples for your child / children to follow. Like sharing food, sharing toys, helping each other do household chores. Knowing that thru sharing, many things are done that makes people happy.
Always wear a smile on your face. A happy face most often than not, gives good vibes to other people. Teach your child / children to smile and be happy so that they will know how it feels good inside and out.