Bond With Your Bebé
As a parent, part of your role is to be an ambassador -- to give a nuanced, intimate portrait of what it means to be Latino. Fortunately, there are small touches that you can incorporate into your daily home life that will help your child feel connected to you and your culture.
Stories at Bedtime
Goodnight Moon and The Cat In The Hat should be staples of every little one’s childhood library, but so should Abuela and Chato’s Kitchen. Build a selection that covers a variety of topics, from authors of various backgrounds, to introduce children to multiculturalism -- a key facet of what it means to be American.
Break Time in the Playroom
Create songs and games in Spanish to keep your little one engaged in the language or your padres. You can also set your DVD language so that, with the right programming, you can turn Disney’s Cinderella into Cenicientas -- without having to wave a magic wand.
Connect in the Kitchen
Food is one of the major transmitters of culture, so make sure the meals you share with your child are a cultural and culinary smorgasbord of ethnic delights. Urge your kids to identify what their favorite family foods are so you can share in the preparation and enjoyment together.
Learning Together in the Living Room
Look for opportunities to sit down together and personalize the lessons your child is learning. For example, if he or she recently studied Women’s History Month, discuss why Sonia Sotomayor made history, as well as other trailblazing American women. This will keep you connected and help you engage with your children in a relevant way.
Giving your child the gift of an affirmed and informed cultural identity is key to helping them navigate their identities in the larger world. As you confidently and easily blend American and Latino cultural traditions, they will as well.