As I have been working on my new project (more of that soon), I have been thinking about family core values a lot.
Partly from a business point of view but also from a personal one. The funny thing is, with the new project the core values for that are exactly the same as our family ones!
Family core values, I realised that this is something I haven’t really discussed much other than mentioning it on occasion with my Wonder Moms and thought it would make a great series of blog posts.
Over the coming weeks, I will share each of our family core values, what that means to us as a family and how we make decisions with the core values being the focus.
Family Core Value #1 – GLOBAL CITIZENS
It started when I was a tween. I discovered this amazing thing called ‘pen friends’ now, this was many moons ago so it was done the old fashioned way with pen, paper and envelopes.
I adore stationery so that was a good start.
And I grew up in a small village in the UK. I didn’t know much of what was out there… I started with pen friends in the UK but soon discovered there were kids in foreign lands who wanted pen-friends too!
And so my collection began, yes, I collected pen-pals. All these years later I can still rattle off some of their addresses.
The Scandinavians were my favourite, they had great English and asked lots of interesting questions as well as answered mine. Not just about the fashion and music where they were but more mundane stuff. What their everyday life was like.
It fascinated me, it still does.
As so my fascination of different countries and cultures, religion and traditions were born. At 15 I flew out to Norway to stay with one of my pen-pals. It was me and a school friend and a pair of friends over there.
It was an amazing experience, I had only been abroad once before, to France on a school ski trip. Not much in the way of exploration and culture on that trip. It was Norway that gave me wanderlust and it hasn’t faded yet.
Fast forward to now, I have spent more of my life outside the UK than I have in it, I have lived all over the place, wandered far and wide.
My job allows me to chat with people from all for corners of the globe, it thrills and excites me every single time and I LOVE the diversity of the Wonder Moms and the insights it gives me.
So it stands to reason that being a global citizen and raising a global citizen was high on the priority list for our family core values.
What does being a global citizen mean?
It is being inclusive.
In every way, no matter of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age.
To be open-minded
Especially when it comes to culture, language, religion and traditions that are different to our own.
To be conscientious
Of our footprints, both environmentally and as tourists, locally and globally.
How Do You Raise A Global Citizen?
I don’t think you need to sell your house and go yomping around the world to raise a global citizen. I do think it starts at home.
Books are a great way to introduce kids to another culture, and once you have opened the door, let their curiosity lead the way. Answer questions, if you don’t know the answer, research them, together.
You can mix it up, have storybooks, factual books on specific cultures/locations, fun trivia type books, anything on animals and other kids are popular too. Here are just a few from our library that have been popular over the years to give you a rough idea:
Disclosure these are my affiliate links which means I’ll get a small commission if you decide to buy
FOOD AND COOKING
Most kids love helping in the kitchen so have fun with it and introduce a dish that you haven’t tried before. If they are curious about a specific place, then find something you can make from that country.
This can be expanded on in so many ways, why do certain countries have so many rice dishes? Why does this this place use a specific spice in their cooking? Why is it OK to eat a particular food in one place but not another?
All these questions open up your child’s mind and often lead to deeper conversations.
For us this led to Ebi-kun starting his own taste testing YouTube channel and many culinary adventures!
TV, FILM, ANIMATION
Watch programs set in other countries and talk about the things that seem odd.
One great example is the scene in Totoro where the father is taking a bath with the girls. To the west this feels weird and somewhat creepy but in Japan is it perfectly normal.
It is often small things like this that kids pick up on. My son is now a teen and well travelled but he still does this, notices small differences between cultures.
Watching programs in another language is also great, hearing different languages and seeing the body language that goes with it can be another great topic to dig into.
And explaining how things can sometimes get lost in translation!
If you are lucky to live somewhere that has a diverse community, you might have international festivals in your neighbourhood. These are a great way to learn more about your neighbours, their traditions and often food!
And are often tied in with specific traditions or religious festivals. Check you local listings and newspapers for events that might be going on.
It has never been easier to visit the world without leaving home! With apps like Google Earth it’s easy and fun to take a virtual trip.
Popping on a webcam, yes they are still a thing! Is another fun thing to do, we like Explore – Livecams and got very excited recently to see a rhino at the watering hole.
At the bottom of this post you can join a free mystery tour, it’s part virtual tour, part escape room and part family fun!
We do a lot of project-based learning, it allows for the child to dig deep into the area that he/she is interested in, so it works well for families. Each family member can learn at their own level and pace but then you have a common theme to discuss and share your learnings about.
I talk more about country specific projects on this post
There are so many ways to tackle this and so many avenues to go down. Discussing your decisions on where you travel to, how and why is a good place to start.
Steering clear of volunteer tourism for example, which actually exploits the locals and instead, researching more sustainable and responsible alternatives.
One Final Thought…
I really believe that if our kids are raised with a better understanding of other people’s cultures, traditions and religions. The world would be a much more peaceful place.
If there was less fear of the unknown. The world would be a better place.
The first step is to raise curious learners at home.
I’ll share another of our family core values with you next time and how we incorporate it into our lives.
Over to you. Do you have a set of core values for your family?
If yes, share with me what they are.
If no, maybe this is the first time you have thought about it, then have a chat with the fam and see what you can come up with. 5 is a good number to use. let me know how it goes.