As parents, we sometimes struggle to find the line between building our children’s confidence and giving them the (harmful) idea that their ideas and opinions are more important than those of others. We want them to be proud of who they are and where they come from… but not to think that makes them superior to others.

The holiday season presents fantastic opportunities to learn and celebrate traditions and cultures different from our own.

We know that children (and adults, for that matter!) are much more open to new people and ideas when they are able to make a personal connection. And in a season so full of religious and cultural celebrations and traditions, we can explore these with our children and discuss their similarities to and differences from our own, using nothing more than Google to find our way.

The little people we work with every day in our Centre are tomorrow’s health care workers, farmers, engineers, pastors, caregivers, entrepreneurs, construction workers, first responders… and political and community leaders.

We want every one of them to instinctively greet each new person they meet with curiosity and respect. And just as importantly, we want every one of them to grow up with the security and the joy that comes from a genuine interest in people from different cultures than their own.

Brightling Childcare Academy is privileged to be the home-away-from-home for children and professionals from a wide range of cultural, national, and racial backgrounds.

This gives us regular prompts for one-on-one sharing of cultural traditions within our classrooms. And during the holiday season, we jump at the opportunity to widen our children’s horizons by celebrating the diversity of traditions that exist at Brightling each day.

In as diverse and multicultural a community as Manitoba, we are blessed to raise our children in an environment that makes connecting with people who are different from us easy to do.

So let’s do.