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aibu to ask for ideas on expanding six year old's knowledge

15 replies

SenoritaViva · 27/06/2017 22:04

I know this is aibu but I'm hoping for constructive criticism and help here.

I had an upbringing where I went to private school, all white etc. I lived abroad for a while and had a range of friends from different religions and skin colours.

I have moved back and we have ended up back in a mostly white area. My children's school is 97% white and although it tries hard with imaging and education to represent the world to my primary age kids the reality is 'white' is the norm.

So, whilst we live here and I can't afford to live or fly my family back to where I used to live I'm looking for good things to do with kids to make them more racially and culturally aware / sensitive.

Don't want to drip feed - my six year old said something today to someone in his class that was insensitive about their skin colour (although don't believe it was via deliberate unkindness, it was at best misguided) and it has made me realise we don't do enough.

I'd love ideas of bed time stories, festivals to celebrate, things to do and anything I haven't thought of.

OP posts:

SenoritaViva · 27/06/2017 22:04

So long sorry Blush

OP posts:

Groupie123 · 27/06/2017 22:05

What did he say?


Crumbs1 · 27/06/2017 22:18

Day trips and weekends away to things that generally widen his perspective- not necessarily cultural but exposing him to the wonderful mix that the UK offers.
London with the museums like the V and A, science and natural history museum. Free time at Corams Fields.
Portsmouth and the historic dockyard with fun at action stations and a boat trip.
The Christmas market in Birmingham then a curry.
Ironbridge, Black Country museum and Liverpool waterfront.

I'm not convinced deliberate exposure is best and think acceptance and tolerance comes from everyday contact. Visit the Central Mosque, a synagogue, a Sikh Gudjwara and our beautiful cathedrals. Cook and eat foods from all over the world. Make friends with the local Polish bakers. Make sure you pick some reading books with non white characters but then just enjoy the story.


Osolea · 27/06/2017 22:32

You could buy a children's atlas and a globe and look at the world and talk about all the different places people come from.


SenoritaViva · 27/06/2017 22:37

Thanks Crumbs, we sort of do that anyway, but not enough. Want diversity to just be part of life rather than anything too formal, yet feel I have to make some structured decisions to make it so (kids won't realise).

Good bedtime book suggestions always welcome!

OP posts:

GreenTulips · 27/06/2017 22:40

Children can be insensitive without realizing it - they can also be incredibly accepting without realizing it

I wouldn't worry about your son noticing differences - isn't that what you want him to do?


Crochetthedayaway · 27/06/2017 22:43

We grew up in a very mono cultural area but my parents hosted international students for holidays, a couple of weeks maybe or less and it gave us a chance to mix with people from all over the world. I don't know if anything like that still exists?


clickhappy · 27/06/2017 22:44

I agree with pp, travel, travel, local museums, festivals and cities are your best way. A ride on the London Underground would be enough.

I am of an ethnic background from London, and I'm now living in the NorthWest, and moved house to find a diverse school, as you are right, 97% white is just not typical of this country.

Even a different type restaurant , or cooking different foods can be fun. Local culture is just as important though, to give the kids a sense of home too.

Luckily, I have family in London that we visit often, so we get the opportunity to get stuck into all sorts, some of it can be a bit of an eye opener lol.

You have the right attitude and I think that's what will outshine any practical efforts you make anyway x


Groupie123 · 27/06/2017 22:44

It all depends on what he said really which is why I ask. If it was skin colour based/culture based (ie 'muslims are bad' etc.

Anyway I'm assuming the former so see below for a link to resources. Joining a Scout/Kumon etc Group in a non-white area might help. There are probably some equally nice/affluent Indian areas in your region - can start there.


Colacolaaddict · 27/06/2017 22:49

We are in a small, not very diverse town outside a more diverse city. It's very nuts and bolts compared to PPs visiting mosques and making friends with Polish bakers etc, but our children go to swimming lessons in the city centre. I'm not expecting them to make close friends at swimming or gain big cultural insights, but at least a little bit of their "normal" every week is in an environment than is not 90% white.

We do it on a Sat morning when the roads are quiet.

It's not "the answer" but I thik if we can reduce the "othering", it's a start.


Groupie123 · 27/06/2017 22:50


Shwangalangadingdong · 27/06/2017 22:58

I grew up in a massive multicultural city then moved and had my kids a a really rural area which is pretty much 99% white. We did go back to the city frequently and that helped. London was great for weekends. Ate out and cooked a lot.
By the time they were 10/12 we went to Morocco then India a few yrs later.
I remember being a bit racist at that age and my dad saying to me that it was more about fear of difference he explained it really well and made me feel like I decided not to be racist because he put it so well.


SomeOtherFuckers · 28/06/2017 00:03

I grew up with a 99% white area and slightly ( culturally but still present) racist parents and am not discriminatory or racist . It's about the attitude not the exposure ❤️❤️

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