Today’s children face more diversity than their parents were when they were at the same age. The cultural differences in how the parents deal and communicate with their children around the world are a great challenge. Parent’s involvement in their children’s literacy and communication either in school, home or community will be effective through communication strategies and awareness about cultural differences (Alvarez, 2000). The support of parents is one of the critical components of their children’s communication development.
The effort, support and parent’s expectation for their children’s way of communication can be of great help to understand the complicated and diverse cultural differences. The socio-cultural differences vary from language, ethnicity, poverty level, sex and education that could affect the children. Cultural differences are a great challenge to prove that parents can communicate with their children and improve their behavior in dealing with other people. There are variety of reasons why parents resist and exclude themselves in children’s literacy, school activities and communication process.
The number of cultural differences increases with the number of children in school, and children with full support from their parents can achieve more especially if the school setting resembles their home language. Every parent must have face-to-face interaction with their children. This is a way to establish a trusting relationship with them. Discussion Since people from different culture and race exist, parents must inform and orient their children about individual beliefs and different way of living and why does it happen.
By acknowledging the differences in culture is a way to clear children’s obscured judgment of other cultures and encourage an unbiased opinion (Alvarez, 2000). As responsible adults, parents have the responsibility to open their children’s thought without prejudice about cultural mix. The couple themselves may be from different cultural backgrounds but if they do not allow this difference to get in the way of their relationship, this can allow their children to experience the mixture of different cultures (Hoover-Dempsey, 2002).
It is the responsibility of parents to educate their children on matters of religion and spirituality. Nowadays, there are children who are smarter than their parents. These children can throw various questions that expect intelligent answers from adults. In teaching children about cultural differences, respect and tolerance about one’s practice and belief is important. Most of the children will emulate their adult figure and will act the same way as their parents. Parent’s effort in learning cultural differences will help their children to gain diverse awareness.
Parents must have the initiative to get to know their neighbor, encourage their children to befriend other children in their school and community, and invite some friends to join dinner at home. Despite the difference in physical attributes (i. e. , hair, skin color, height, and beliefs of individuals, children must be trained to respect everyone and perceive them as a person. Understanding one’s culture does not mean acceptance but matter of respect regardless of their similarities and differences.
Parent’s responsive behavior and desire to educate their children about other people’s beliefs, practices and values could promote secure attachment. There are different factors which influence individual beliefs, values and practices like parent’s intuition, the accustomed parenting practices, previous attachment practices to their parents, parental norms and accepted culture in their family, religious belief and the generation changes (Madriz, 2000). There are no consistent patterns of parental communication within each cultural group.
There are predominant beliefs and practices brought by parental instinct which do not involve assistance and learning from professionals or literature but could provide security and protection during the course of child development. This type of parenting is not always reliable and can be derived from different sources. Many parents learned their communication through formal and informal means depending on their country of origin. One good example of cultural differences that takes place is when children feel lost when he enters the school premises for the first time.
These children have little confidence on how to communicate with other children. However, they gradually follow consciously or unconsciously the cultural trends in school until they become accustomed to the culture. The presence of parental support like sharing their past school experiences to their children is one powerful way of informal learning. It is not necessary that parents must have an answer for every child’s inquiry but it is important to let them have awareness for everything.
Parents can be of great help to their children by providing them support and making them feel comfortable to stay in school despite having no relatives, cousins, playmates and other house members that could attend to their immediate needs (Allexsaht-Snider, 2000). Parents need to talk to their children about the enjoyment brought by coming to school as they meet different people from different culture. The care and love provided by every parent to their children will equip them with confidence.
Parents vary from being over-protective, loving, unmindful of their children, abusive both physically and emotionally and may not portray a typical model of ideal parents. Other parents do not have desire to act like parents despite the challenges of taking this role (Bloom, 2000). Trying to have positive outlook for their kids may be difficult due to internal conflict. They keep on fighting on how they were brought up by their parents. These negative patterns of parent’s growth will affect their child rearing process and security attachment.
Although there is recognition and awareness of being parents to their children, they need to overcome their negative patterns of growing by showing great affection that they missed when they were still a child. There are different accepted parenting norms influenced by cultural differences with extent pressure to conform to their norms. Parents who strongly believe that their cultural practices must continue despite having unsupportive environment will affect their way of communication with their children.
Parents keep on teaching their children the strong interwoven tradition of their religious beliefs, values and practices, the important role of their cultural spirituality greatly affects their way of living and dealing with other people that can be passed through their children and offspring. Living in another location induces stress on the parents and children, especially when difference in cultural background is present. It strongly affects their children due to their fear of rejection, lack of support for their beliefs and practices, and fear of how to ingrate their culture to the present situation.
Example of this stressful cultural difference includes the Yugoslavians who were trapped in the midst of ethnic conflict due to religious differences. Other examples include the Muslims from Africa who do not eat pork, the Asian nations that swear not to fight, and the religious sects who do not want to consume drugs for their sick loved ones (Allexsaht-Snider, 2000). Parents having difficulty transmitting and enforcing their values become even stricter in ensuring that their own cultural traditions will prevail.
Children are usually surrounded and mingle with peers who do not have the same cultural orientation. The risk and fear of being voted out by their fears bring them unspeakable dilemma (Allexsaht-Snider, 2000). As parents, communicating with their children about cultural differences they must inflict to them that their trust is to mould them as good children with moral and responsible obligation to their family, school and community (Allexsaht-Snider, 2000).
The clash of cultural differences must not be a form of struggle in their day to day living but rather help them to become flexible and protective of their own culture. From child’s birth to his seven years of existence in the world, most parents play and rear their children. From seven years to fourteen years of life they guide them to follow their cultural practice. From fourteen to twenty one years of life towards adulthood, parents must be a friend to their children (Joyner, 1996). They keep on guiding but respecting their own prerogatives in life.
Regardless of countries of origin, families can gain practical learning experiences that can transfer to their children and let them feel the challenge of changes in their lifestyle with guidance. By understanding the children’s priority with compassionate guidance they can be ready to occupy a space in this world with respect to cultural differences and share their own cultural and religious beliefs and practices. Within cultural groups, an individual may experience diversity but the important thing is for them to recognize the dynamic features of every culture (Allexsaht-Snider, 2000).
Changes may take place from generation to generation brought by influx of younger generation ideas and countries global position. However, the essence of cultural differences lies in the benefits derived from diversity learning. During the past, most children would be quietly sitting in their living room while their parents are entertaining visitors and must be involved in their conversation. Those were the days of traditional parenting. At present it is necessary for parents to encourage their children to get involved in conversation and be confident enough to share and learn new ideas.
It is just right to keep certain traditional beliefs and practices but by adding some new and positive ideas can help them in adjusting to current environment. Reflecting and evaluating the parenting style, values and practices will enable the children to keep the best values, give up the not so good ones and adopt to new ones. Though parents can keep on talking about their old practices and beliefs about cultural differences, it is just right to adopt new practices, beliefs and values with an intention of improving and benefiting their children. Conclusion
Cross-cultural learning experiences differed but it is important not to fall into the trap of being left and keep on living based on past cultural beliefs, values and practices. Giving children the affection, attention and respect despite of being young are significant aspect of parent-children relationship, community involvement and extended family interaction. No individual learns from one person alone. Each individual is connected by their day-to-day interactions with others. The children should be taught to communicate in positive manner with others as this can help them in their self-development (Edwards, 2001).
It is great to know that children will obey their parents not because of fear or control but because of their choice to share their own opinion and be respectful in dealing with other people. Teaching children to respect everyone regardless of cultural differences is a way of helping them to grow (Allexsaht-Snider, 2000). The deep and enduring connection of parents to their children creates happiness at home with their own freedom of expression towards healthy child development. References Alvarez. T. (2000).
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