Our children are the future of the world. So it is our duty as parents to raise them to be socially aware and responsible adults. This doesn’t stop at providing them with education. Education only covers a fraction of what is necessary to make your child more socially aware. There are a few things we can do to make them smarter early on. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Give them access to a variety of resources
If you truly want your child to be more aware of the world they live in, you should give them the right kind of resources to learn about it. This means the right kind of child-friendly books, TV shows, YouTube channels, etc.
If you are making them watch a TV show or follow a YouTube channel, you should watch it with them. You can have intellectual discussions about it too. As for the books, you can make that a fun activity too by reading it out to them and asking questions.
2. Entertain all of their weird questions
As kids, they would most likely have a whole lot of curious questions running in their mind. Questions like “Ma, why is that man so short?” or “Why is that woman wearing sunglasses and using a stick inside the shop?”
Rather than silencing them and ignoring their questions, explain it to them. In some situations, it may not be possible to explain it right away. In those situations, just ask them to remind you to explain it once you get back home.
TIP: If there is a question that you don’t know the answer to, simply tell them that you don’t know either. You can then try and learn the answer together. Knowing that their parents don’t actually know everything is a good thing. It teaches them that learning is a never-ending process and that one can never truly know EVERYTHING.
3. Teach them what isn’t taught in schools
Education is meant to enlighten children about the world around them but there are a lot of things that aren’t taught in school. Take a look at what is being included in their syllabus and what is missing from the textbooks.
Suppose the textbooks talk about child marriage and female infanticide as if it is a thing of the past. Let your child know that these things still exist in our country but it is not talked about as much. The textbooks may also not talk about transgenders and how they became what they are now. You can read up about it and then explain it to your kids like a story.
4. Talk about what is okay and what isn’t
Sometimes, kids say things that we as adults know are disturbing or not alright to say. When they say these things, don’t simply dismiss it. Have a discussion about why they said that and why they should not be saying it.
Suppose your child says that they saw a dead animal and somehow thought it was funny. This can definitely be disturbing to parents. Your child, of course, isn’t aware that this is not something they should laugh about. So it is up to you to explain to them why it is NOT funny so that they don’t repeat this habit.
5. Ask your child questions to bring out their opinions
When you watch the news or watch a movie with the kids, bring up questions that help bring out their opinions. Listen to them fully and avoid correcting them unless they say something that is morally wrong. This gives them an outlet to make their voice heard and gives you a chance to get to know your child better. Doing this often will help your bond grow deeper in the long run.
You can also do this when you go on a vacation with the family. Talk to them about the difference in the cultural habits of the people, how they dress up, everything. Ask them to pick one or two qualities from these people and why. This helps cultivate a broader sense of thinking.
Following these tips will help you to raise a socially aware and smart human being. If you found this article useful, please do share it with your friends and family.