Cultural Dilemmas

Cultural Dilemmas and Issues of Asian Moms in the U.S.


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Promoting Cultural Diversity In The Classroom

Cultural diversity

Cultural diversity

America is increasingly becoming a culturally diverse society with growing Asian, Hispanic and African American population. Although the diversity is growing, the challenges associated with it have not been fully addressed.

In my previous post I discussed one such challenge about answering our children’s queries about their different appearance and developing confidence in them about their cultural heritage. Apart from doing this, we Asian moms should also make efforts to promote cultural diversity in their schools. This will not only make the school environment more productive for our children, but also make our kids more receptive towards different cultures.

Asian moms should take initiatives to promote diversity by giving suggestions to their children’s teachers and school authorities. I have thought of some steps we can recommend to them.

Introducing Multicultural Books As A Part Of Their Curriculum. Children have impressionable minds and the little lessons of truth and kindness taught to them in the form of stories become an important part of their childhood. Multicultural books should be used while teaching these lessons which will familiarize them to the cultural nuances of different people in the world. The characters in these stories influence children’s thinking and their actions and make them more receptive of their peers who look and behave differently from them.

Children doing things together in school

Children of different races doing things together in school

Putting Posters Of Children Of Different Races Doing Things Together In The School.Visual learning plays an important role in children’s learning process. Simple lessons depicted through posters like teaching them to wash hands every time they go to the restroom or sharing things with each other while working on class projects should have children of different races doing things together.

Introducing Multiculturalism Through Geography Lessons. While teaching children about different continents in the world, teachers should emphasize how varied climates and topography contribute to different skin colors and development of diverse races in the world. This will add a scientific approach to their understanding of different people in the world.

Special Classes For Children Interested In Learning Different Cultures And Languages. Introducing multiculturalism in the above mentioned ways will arouse their curiosity to learn more about diverse cultures. This curiosity should be developed and catered by arranging special classes teaching more about different languages and cultures.

Educating Children About Cultural Aspects Of Their Classmates. We Asian Moms should take initiatives to educate our children’s classmates about the food, language, dress, and important festivals associated with our culture. This can be done by showing them short videos or presentations in the form of stories.

Exchange Programs. As children grow up and become more independent exchange programs for students of different countries should also be encouraged. This first-hand experience of varied cultures will make them global citizens with open minds.

What are some other ideas which are being implemented in your child’s school to promote diversity? Do you have more thoughts on how we can promote cultural diversity in our children’s schools? Share them with me.

Photograph 1-Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photograph 2-Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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How To Talk To Asian Kids About Their Different Appearance?

Last week my daughter told me that her skin color is different from her friends. I was concerned, and this was our topic of discussion every now and then when I picked her up from school. I didn’t know how to handle this. I grew up in an environment where all the people around looked like me and never had this challenge as a part of my childhood.

An Asian kid with an American child in school

An Asian kid with an American child in school

It is not just about appearance, it is also about the food we pack for our children in their lunch boxes, the language we speak, and many other cultural things we do that raise questions as well.

We Asian moms are not the only ones facing these questions. Women of many other races deal with similar problems while raising their kids in the U.S. We cannot change the way our children look, but we do bring some changes in our lifestyle. Celebrating American festivals, eating American food, or watching ‘Super Bowl’ with our kids have become a part of our lives.

What about the things we cannot change? How should we handle their concerns about looking different from their friends? I have some suggestions which will be helpful in making our children confident about the way they look.

Do Not Shy Away From These Conversations. When your children talk to you about their different skin color, listen to them. Do not avoid the situation. Tell them that we may look different from outside but we are all same inside. Assure them that there is nothing wrong in being different. Have these conversations with your children on a regular basis, but do not overdo it.

Talk About Their Issues By Giving Examples. Do not give long philosophical lectures, they will not understand them. Talk to them as issues emerge by giving examples of things around them, so that they can relate and understand. For example, talk about people they know and who can be their role models.

Make Them Feel Good About Themselves. Educate your children about the good things in your culture, things that they can feel proud of. Repeated positive reinforcement about their bodies, their culture and their roots will make them confident. Tell them that what matters most is to be good, by giving examples of little acts of kindness that they can do.

Be Confident Role Models For Them. We Asian moms can bring a huge positive change in the lives of our children by being confident role models for them. Our kids learn a lot from us by watching how we behave in different situations. If we are confident about our appearance, it will automatically effect our children’s perception about their looks.

Educate Them About Different Cultures. Expose your children to different cultures by reading books, taking them to different countries for vacations, watching multicultural shows on television, and interacting with people of different cultures. This will not only educate them about the diversity in the world, but also make them confident about themselves looking different from others.

Do you have more ideas on how to talk to our children about looking different from their friends, let’s discuss them.

Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net