One common fear adoptive parents have when it comes to transracial adoption is celebrating and teaching their children about their traditions. It is important to teach your child about their own culture to connect to their heritage. It is a sense of identity that they will come to need in the future, so it is your duty as a parent to respect that and teach them about themselves. It can be very daunting having to learn and subsequently create fun ways to teach your child about their own culture. However, there are plenty of easy ways to incorporate their heritage into everyday life.
1. Books, Books, and More Books
There are plenty of children’s books online that represent various cultures. Find one, two, or three that would connect with your child and work them into your child’s library. Since reading is an everyday activity for parents and children, books help children learn about their environment and circumstances they may encounter. Reading about their culture and traditions allows them to learn about their community.
2. Cooking Time!
Research traditional meals that belong to your child’s culture. Learn how to cook them and incorporate them into your dinners. When they get old enough, teach your child how to cook them as well. Not only is this a perfect bonding time for your family, but it also shows that you are interested in and respect their culture. It is essential to allow your child to feel like their culture is being represented in the family. You can do this easily by incorporating food from their culture into your diet.
3. Stay In Tune With the News
While news can be scary, kids become exposed to it sooner than most parents would like. It is unavoidable, so it may help to inform them of the news happening in all of the cultures present in your home. Stay up to date with issues and celebrations and tell your child of them in an age-appropriate manner. They need to understand what affects others that share the same heritage as them because it also affects them.
4. Go to Community Events
Many communities will have different cultural events to celebrate the diversity in their community. Research which events are happening near you and take your child to one that celebrates their culture’s traditions. Participating in events will allow them to learn more about their traditions and connect to peers and mentors who can teach them more about themselves.
5. The Importance of Words
Language is imperative to cultures; it is one of the distinct differences between cultures. If your child’s culture speaks a language other than the one spoken in your home, consider learning the language and begin teaching your child some key phrases. It will help them feel connected to their cultural community. It may also help them create a deeper appreciation for their culture.
Fostering a healthy relationship with your child’s culture will help your child be less confused with their identity as they grow. The five tips above are easy ways to incorporate their culture into your everyday life. Consider making these family activities to foster your whole family’s understanding of the different cultures represented in your home.
Check out our previous blogs to learn more about transracial adoption!