Thinking about our roots

Thinking about our roots

Time. Never enough? We finally have time. Families at home. Schools closed. Too much time?

When schools were first closed, many parents’ first concern was how to homeschool their children in maths, science and all the other academic subjects. As the days and weeks have passed, we have all fallen into some sort of ‘new normal’ routine, trying to keep the mind, body and soul nourished. But are we missing an opportunity?

Our education system is intended to take our children forwards with the knowledge they will need in later life to live as productive members of society. But, how do our children decide upon their futures without a better understanding of who they are, and what values they have: where they have come from?  Their roots.

We are all unique. We all grew up in different families. Many of us came from different countries, speak a second or more languages, have different faiths. Our roots will be made up of our ethnicity, our culture, our family and spiritual history. Our culture is how we do things, our traditions and customs, the food we eat, the way we dress, our expectations for our children, our choice of entertainment and so on. Educating our children about their roots will give them a strong sense of identity, and the high self esteem they will need to face the challenges of life. 

We can educate our children about their roots with lots of fun and free activities. For parents who have already attended the SFSC parenting programme, they can revisit the cultural and historical rites of passage activities which include:

  • Children can talk with parents and grandparents who will be able to pass on stories about parents’ countries of origin.
  • Children can be encouraged to learn to cook and eat traditional foods, listen to music important to previous generations and learn a traditional dance.
  • Families can work together to create a ‘family tree’, and then ‘study’ countries of origin, Older children can consider cultural values and can research cultural heroes and heroines.

Families with children of all ages may want to think about the creation of new traditions based on old values – we may not be able to see our friends and family at weekends for example, but perhaps we can arrange a game to play with these people online or on the telephone until we can meet face to face again one day.