The main thing that influences the child’s objective is his/her life in the society, where he/she is being raised. The main points of this influence are the beliefs, values and the upbringing which child receives from his/her parents. The environment in which a young personality is created will have an effect on his/her whole life.
Raising children in multicultural society, where each day he/she copes with bilingual communication, experiences different things. Although in some cases the growth within two societies woven by each other can provoke a raising complex of a personality. It may seem that children adapt easier to each situation then the adults, however they just grab things faster and not evaluate the information that is granted to them.
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To understand if raising children in multicultural family is an advantage or a disadvantage it is essential to analyze a couple of examples. First one will be a case in which a child is already born not in the country of their parent’s origin, but abroad. For example, the parents have emigrated from their country and found their new home in America. No matter which nationality they will posses they will have to adapt to a new environment. A child, on the other side, will be already born within this society. He/she will not have to adapt in a way his/her parents do, because it will be his/her natural surrounding.
Learning English for that child will not be a problem. Moreover the child will have much more difficulties with learning his/her parents’ native language. His peers, the school teachers, the programs that he/she will watch, everything that surrounds the child will sound to him/her common. In this situation parents will try to adapt the child to the culture that they have brought with them to the immigration country. They try to teach the child to hold all of the traditions and not to forget about his/her roots. In such situation many conflicts will arise between parents and the child that would have been out of question in his/her native country. As we all know, the older population want their children to grow up in a similar way as they did. This is a difficult issue, even when growing up in native country. Abroad it becomes a huge dispute within the family, when parents want child to go to special school for Chinese or Indian or Polish or Mexican children, where the teaching process is conducted in native traditions and language. It can arise a kind of protest and split up the family. This way growing up in a multicultural society has a really negative vision. However, there is another side of the coin. It is great when a child understands that his/her roots are different from the society in which he/she is raised, and he/she is interested in his own ancestors.
Our world is changing every day. Each day new technologies see the day light, and new professions are created. The world is open for those who try to get to know it. Nowadays it can be a great advantage to grow up in a multicultural society. When a person is familiar with different cultures and is fluent in the couple of languages many doors will open before him/her.
A very important point in raising a child is the education process within the family environment. Parents have to make it of an interest for the child to learn something that only they can pass to him/her. All the essentials of education are hidden within the child’s curiosity. If the curiosity will be raised, there is no way a child will give on getting information on the subject of interest. This trick should be used by all of the adults that want to transfer all the knowledge that they have to their posterity.
Children that are raised in multicultural families, practically live in one or three worlds. When they go from home to school, and come back from school to home, they practically shift between two worlds. The diversity of cultures is pressed together. Often it is very hard for them to realize which world is their own.
In many regions in order to help children and parents to exist in two societies simultaneously, school proposes some panels build on building an imaginative bridge between home and school that they could work together in supporting the child’s development. These panels teach the children to parish their diversity and to value both of the cultures in which they are raised, as both of them are a part of the child’s life.
"We're raising children for a global world," says child development specialist Jean Monroe (Monroe). This means that surrounding world becomes more and more globalised. And this is reflected on every day basis. Multicultural societies, even multicultural countries are developing everyday. All specialist advice to parent that they should teach their child a second language, that it is essential to send a child to multicultural camps, to enhance and develop his/her own understanding of the world.
Children are first to see any diversity in color, race, clothes and behavior and they are the most sensitive ones on any reaction of their parents or the surrounding environment. Children acknowledge any verbal or non-verbal signs. For example: Indian woman with a child goes along the street, and a young group of white men approaches her, she grasps a little harder the hand of her child and goes across the street. Children receive any message that is indicated with discomfort or difference and they remember it. Next time, even in future, this child will just copy the reaction of his/her mother instinctively. When addressing diversity issues concerning a child, mostly the parents have to start with themselves, "be very aware of what you are feeling and why", is the best advice (Monroe).
One of the raising methods that sociologists advice to the multicultural families is to set teaching elements about diversity of people of different races. For example, try to explain it to the child with a picture of three differently colored kitties. The child will ask why they are different: one red, one black and another white. At this moment it is important to explain that they are all the same, feel the same, when you cuddle them or when you hurt them, all of them are cats, they are just different colored from the nature.
An important step in building a healthy environment for the child upbringing in another culture concerns the relationship between parents and the child. In a family country the child would have friends, communities within school or church to come to. In a totally different world for him/her, the child can be afraid of sharing his/her personal thoughts with people he/she hardly knows. Parents have to build a partnership between themselves and their child (Derman-Sparks). Spending time together and spare half of the time to their native cultural activity and half of it to the new one is very important for the whole family. It will help the child to accommodate and reliving that activity with parents will help to build a strong relationship within family.
More and more children that were raised in multicultural families and went to the public schools have lost their mother tongue. They learn to speak English perfectly, but they forget the pronunciation of their mother language. Being home they do not use it at all, as they come home they only sit in front of a computer or go out with their English speaking friends in the evening. The communication in their native language is reduced to: “Hello!” and “Good bye!” According to the studies the parents, when they are being asked about the teaching language of their child, in the 90 % respond that they want their child to be taught in English. Almost nobody requests for the lessons or facultative lessons in their native language.
Celebrating holidays is a main point in bringing the children together with the values and the culture. It is also the easiest way to picture for the child the diversities in the culture. A family can celebrate two holidays of each party. The most important thing is not to undergraduate any of it, but to show to the child that every tradition is important for every nation. However some parents forget that their beliefs and traditions should be taken to the light not only on holidays. Doing the multiculturalism only on holidays is not picturing it on everyday community life. Children should be also educated about universal values and behavior (Derman-Sparks).
Parents should take an active part of recognition of the child. The child is mainly unaware of the fact that his life experience can be different from the other people. Children live in their own little world concentrated around the closest people that are surrounding them. It has to be explained to the child that diverse culture has diverse impact on a person’s behavior or a manner of speech. The essential part in it is to concretize on examples from life. It can be even shown through the gesture of saying: “Hello!”. In some countries a hand shake is considered as adequate in other a double kiss on the cheek.
Children easily get under the impact of the mass. This way they often go with the flow and follow the new culture and have been impressed by everything new. It often leads that after a while they become ashamed to set it public their national heritage and traditions. The home culture becomes locked for them within their homes. At this point it could help to show to the child some examples of famous people their nationality, that are cultivating their traditions and are proud of it, even leaving on immigration (Lynch). This way a child will get an image of power of the national spirit and will be motivated by the example of a strong personality.
Raising children in a multicultural society is a real challenge. However, as we see more and more people are confronting it, and confronting it with a remarkable grade. The main thing in this question is to remain faithful to your cultural values and not to forget to pass them and cultivate with the child.
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