Do you and your partner come from two completely different cultures? If you are planning to start a family, you may be wondering about your children’s cultural upbringing.
It’s a beautiful thing that your children will grow up with multiple cultures and diverse perspectives. But like most aspects of parenting, it can be difficult to introduce your children to both cultures.
Here, we’re sharing a few ways to integrate multiple cultures into your family’s lives. Take a look…
Celebrate both holidays
Holidays often involve celebrations, great food, family get together and presents.
There is no better way to help your children learn about your culture. Make sure you and your partner go all out to celebrate significant holidays that mean a lot to you.
Even if you aren’t particularly religious, you can still rediscover holidays you loved celebrating as a kid. If possible, you can take your children to your home country so that they can experience a holiday in all its glory.
Adopt a double-barrel surname
We are all familiar with the tradition of a woman taking her husband’s last name after marriage, this isn’t a tradition that needs to be followed, not everyone follows it and for some, it can be seen as sexist. And not to mention, this practise usually isn’t followed for LGBTQ+ couples.
Luckily, there is a much better option that will honour both cultures and heritage. You and your partner can consider combining your last names and giving your children double-barrel surnames. In fact, both of you can also adopt this hyphenated surname too.
Many people fondly remember unique family traditions. So why not continue them with your family?
Whether you used to go strawberry picking every summer or visit a Christmas tree farm, these shared rituals can acquaint your children with your background.
Maybe you can even combine traditions and make new ones for your family. In addition to having something to look forward to, these traditions will create memories that your children look back on fondly.
Don’t hesitate to teach your children your mother tongue from an early age. Teaching your children multiple languages not only helps them understand the culture better but also benefits their overall development.
In fact, studies have shown that bilingual children find it easier to read, learn and perform better academically. Children familiar with multiple languages tend to have higher self-esteem and a better sense of belongingness.
Try regional cuisines
Food is something that interacts with several senses and holds the power to remind you of old memories.
Cooking the food you grew up with is a wonderful way to give your kids a look into your culture. They will not only grow up with a refined palate but likely not become picky eaters.
Movies, books & music
It’s no secret that popular media places an unjustifiable spotlight on western culture and often presents a distorted image of traditional values. While things are changing, we still have a long way to go.
That’s why it’s crucial to show your kids movies, books and music that are an authentic representation of your culture. Watching movies and consuming art will also help them learn the language.
Find your community
At times it can be difficult to connect with a culture when you’ve never experienced it first-hand. You should consider becoming part of a local community of people belonging to a similar culture as yours.
The bottom line
Communicating with your spouse is key. If there is any family tradition that means a lot to you, don’t hesitate to discuss it with your partner and incorporate it into your children’s lives. Hopefully, this article will help you navigate parenting with diverse cultures.