A global citizen is someone who identifies himself/herself as part of an emerging world community and are concerned with global issues varying from global warming to politics. In the world today, we are connected to the internet more than ever, thus making our kids more aware of global issues as well.
Great parenting includes raising our kids to be responsible and mature adults who can navigate themselves with global issues.
While we wished it'd a lot easier, parents might find it hard to explain global issues to our kids and this process can be time consuming as well. The internet is a good source for learning and travelling can also an opportunity for our kids and ourselves to meet different people from all walks of life, countries and cultural background. For instance, meeting people who practises different faith and tradition is an opportunity for us to learn how to respect and embrace the differences. So what if you are not able to travel due to time or funds? What are some alternative ways you can go about raising a citizen of the world?
Back to Our Roots
Celebrate festivals and traditions. You can start by inviting your neighbours or friends over to your place for traditional meals or activities during festive seasons. This is a good way of introducing traditions to your child and connecting them to their heritage, and may also help to foster friendship between different cultures.
Be Part of Your Community
Sign up for community or social events at your nearest community centres to allow your child to mingle with other children from different countries or belief groups.
Being active in volunteer events such as tree planting or beach clean up activities can also help your child to be more aware of environmental problems and encourage them to do their part by reducing waste and protecting Mother Earth from climate change.
Be well informed
Reading world news to your child allows them to understand the world better. Encourage your child to raise questions and do your best to answer them when possible, with simple analogy. For instance, when describing war to our children, you may use a simpler analogy such as sibling rivalry to help them understand how human beings have different goals and perspectives which may end up in a disagreement.
Never be afraid to say you don't know the answer to your child's question. It is far better than assuming the wrong answers, which may present an entirely inaccurate perspective for them. It is also important to prevent biases when reading out the political or controversial news to them. Consider presenting your child with two sides of the argument and let them take their own stand on the matter.
While travelling is a good way to allow your child to be a global citizen, there are many alternative ways and resources for you to help your child become aware of the world, and your family background and community is a good place to start. With a deeper understanding of the different cultures and beliefs, your child will be able to embrace and respect them, which will help your child make the right connections and successful in life.
We hope these tips will help you in raising a responsible mature adult.