Is it possible to raise children to be global citizens in a conservative society?

Is it possible to bring the ideas of globalization in a culture that might reject anything new?

Is it possible to raise children as global citizens, yet respect their own culture?

These are the questions that we as parents, caregivers or educators should be aware of, when raising/educating children in the current global world. For me, as a mother of three children in a conservative society, I believe it is not only possible but a necessity.

Extremism in any culture, I think, is partly a result of isolating a society from the world to the extend it rejects and fights anything that differs from them regardless of the reasons.

Therefore, some effort is needed. Our children are not only influenced by us as parents. They are influenced by all the other constituents of the society they evolve in especially.

As parents, we may start with ourselves. We may be culturally-sensitive, non-judgmental and educated to the differences around us.  We may be very careful to what we say in front of children when they ask questions related to different cultures and ethnicity. We, ourselves, can be judgmental unfortunately sometimes towards a specific culture and may be careful with any words we utter in the presence of our children.

The other thing that I believe is crucial are resources. Books, television, internet programs,  and after-school activities could be diverse. We are lucky to have diverse and a rich market that allows us to learn everything about anything. Travelling allows us more exposure to different cultures and learning opportunities.

I think that learning English (or any other language) at a young age provides more contact to different “diverse” materials. We do have more diverse materials in English than , say, in Arabic.

Charity works wonders in an interesting way too. You may involve your children in a charitable action into giving to others who are in another country or culture. This provides a learning opportunity, empathy towards others and a responsible child who believes he/she can make a change.

Preparing children to be global citizens is a must at the present. We will not be present at every step they take in their lives, but at least prepare them to manage better in a fast growing world.

What are your ideas to raise a global citizen?

This is an original post from our #WorldMom, Ibtisam from Oman for World Moms Blog.

Picture Credit to the author.

You can find more of her wonderful perspective on her blog: ibtisammusings.com.

Ibtisam Alwardi

Ibtisam (at Ibtisam's musings) is an Omani Mom of three, living in the capital city of Oman ,Muscat. After working for ten years as a speech and language therapist in a public hospital, she finally had the courage to resign and start her own business. She had a dream of owning a place where she can integrate fun, play and 'books', thus the iPlay Smart centre (@iplaysmart) was born. Currently she is focusing on raising awareness through social media about parenting, childhood, language acquisition. She started raising awareness on (the importance of reading) and (sexual harassment) targeting school-aged children. Ibtisam enjoys writing, both in Arabic and English, reading and working closely with children. She plans to write children books (in Arabic) one day. Contact Ibtisam at ibtisamblogging(at)gmail.com.

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