Let’s be honest, as there is no couple similar to another, so as to no two parents are of the same. A child’s life cannot be compared to another of his/her peers as his/her parents have provided within their own means and capacity. For the rest, it’s the child’s part to undertake; though it may seems cruel for some who are left unprepared during their childhood. It’s the real deal of life; nobody is born equal.
Like any other activity for a child’s development, travelling can be a great learning experience, but not every parent’s wallet size is the same; it can be an ease or a burden, depending on families. Those who are at the disadvantage may find it a limitation at the outset. However, this situation in life does not deter this mom.
Here’s her story; by Cary Umhau, entitled “World Travel For Children Who Never Leave Home“, 15 November 2013 – a recount of a mother who shares how her experiences as a world traveller taught her children to be more understanding of other cultures and how she turns simple dining experiences into learning opportunities for her children.
It’s edifying to know how other families handle a situation and who knows it may actually lend some light to you & family too. 🙂
Just some highlights of the article:
What if you don’t have a big budget for world travel? Can you still raise children to be aware of the wider world beyond their own little realms? So what does it take for children to begin caring about the world outside their own communities?
Knowing the other, meeting people, hearing stories! That’s what.
We found two effective practices for engaging their imaginations about the world that Mom and Dad were exploring.
Living as we do in a major city, we can have a multicultural experience right at home (however, even smaller towns have immigrant communities with authentic restaurants or cultural festivals or communities that can be great sources of world-encountering “staycations”). Prior to our trip, we did a little research and set out to eat in a restaurant from each country that we planned to visit. We looked up the country on a map and talked about it.
When we arrived, we didn’t simply peruse the menu and enjoy new foods as a family. We went at non-rush times so that we could talk to the host or wait-staff. We asked questions about the country. We solicited stories of what they would want us to know about their culture. We asked to see the art on the walls and the writing in languages we couldn’t read; we had them explain the customs for dining, and we asked questions about the music playing. And then we left a nice tip!
While travelling, we (the parents) took along one stuffed animal that belonged to each of our three children. In every country we visited, we took photos of local children holding the animals. We kept simple journals for each animal, which told the stories of people we’d met and places we’d been (from the animal’s perspective and at the appropriate reading level).
These journals went back home as a travelogue for each stuffed animal, allowing the children to imagine their beloved Paddington Bear and Psycho Killer the stuffed lizard at the Taj Mahal or in the souks of Yemen. Photos of smiling children they’d never met holding their animals brought the world closer to them.
Those three children are now adults and world travelers, each with a separate region of the world they most love.
It’s the concept that caught my attention and it’s worth knowing.
Well, not everything can be applied in our home ground situation as language barrier with migrants can be one of the issue.
Ever encountered any? Yes, I have. It happened while dining in a Japanese restaurant. The waitress who served my dishes may be from Vietnam. There she went trying to explain over a matter of the dish of my choice, while I was clueless as to what she was trying to convey despite repeating many times. In the end, I figured out on my own on what she meant.
So yeah, a little improvisation to the concept is needed for effective application.
Back to where I was about children. At times, not everything is about money. It’s how parents create good memories in a child that will last a life time. When a child is old enough to realize that what his/her parents had showed been helpful in his/her life, the appreciation of the parents will be even better.
Even if one may not have a proper upbringing, don’t take it negatively on the parents as they already did what they can afford and sometimes, they too make mistakes. View it as a learning opportunity for you and it’s definitely more worth it to channel the efforts to improve the lives of the next generation instead.
As a little reminder to every child; there is always time for everything in life.