(One of our favorite books on Diversity!)
I got asked a great question.... how do I teach my really young children the value of other cultures?
First, it helps if you yourself have a love and respect for other cultures. But obviously, if you want to teach your children this, you probably do. Oxymoron, right? But in all honesty, what have you done lately to appreciate what other people of the world have to offer? Do you try different foods?? (Rice bowls at Jack in the Box DO NOT COUNT) Do you listen to world music? Do you try learning different phrases in other languages? Have you read books about different countries?
Second, teach your children how to compliment others. I am often shocked that children can't come up with something nice to say on their feet. When I student taught in 5th grade, we'd always take the last 10 minutes of the day to share something we learned and a compliment for a fellow classmate. It built unity. It made children feel happy. It built friendships. It made children smile. It ended our day on a happy note. I also do this often in Primary. However, most children aren't being taught to look at each other. They are being taught to look at the TV or play a video game. So we need to take the time in our homes to teach our children to be observant and watchful. (Mormon 1:2 Talks about Amaron noticing that Mormon was a child "quick to observe") It's in the scriptures!! It's our duty. And on that note, it's not just our children.... it's us too. When is the last time you waved at a person in the car next to you at a stop light? When is the last time you told the grocery store clerk you liked their haircut? Complimenting and kindness make the world go round. By the way, have I ever told you how awesome YOU ALL ARE for even coming to my ramblings and being patient enough to read through. I love you and I don't even know you!!! You are a great listener!! Thanks!!!
Now for a FHE idea.
Have a world map. Cut out a bunch of pictures from the "Friends in the News" section of the Friend. See what you have in common with these Primary Children. Take the time to make a couple compliments for each child. It doesn't always have to be physical! Sometimes they have statements on their information like, Sarah loves cats. A compliment could include "I'm grateful and love that Sarah is kind to God's animals." Put their picture on the map. (If you don't have a friend to cut out pictures, online they have an interactive site "One in a Million" that has video clips of a few children from around the world. It's excellent!!)
Questions for the FHE:Does everyone in the world live in one spot?
Did God create every person the same?
Where would you like to go in the world and why?
If you could meet one of the Primary Children from the Friend, who would you want to meet and why?
How are we different and how are we the same as other people all over the world?
Scriptures to include:1 John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."
Doctrine and Covenants 38:16 "And for your salvation I give unto you a commandment, for I have heard your prayers, and the poor have complained before me, and the rich have I made, and all flesh is mine, and I am no respecter of persons."
Matthew 5:45 "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
Songs to include:
As I Have Loved You (Hymns #308 & CS #136)
Children All Over the World (CS #16)
We are Different (CS #263)