Michelle Seitzer is a writer who loves elders, chai lattes, satire, all things Norway, antiques, her family, NYC, the arts & her Boston Terriers. She is currently in the process of adopting a child from Bulgaria and is sharing a bit of Bulgarian food and culture with us today.
In the fall, my husband and I had the pleasure of being Bulgarian — or at least eating like one — for a night.
A couple of months ago I was interviewed by MSN’s “Mom’s Homeroom” about incorporating geography lessons into our daily lives, and also teaching about culture at home. You can see the first video, plus silly pictures of the taping here. In the second video (click on the picture below) I give tips on how we integrate our sons’ birth cultures into our family life. You might notice me glaring over the camera at my 4 kids, who were precariously close to knocking over the lights while I was being interviewed:)- fortunately nothing was broken and they had a fun time playing with the microphones!
They also included a brief article I wrote of 5 ways we’re teaching about culture at home. Though written for adoptive families, any family can follow the tips to learn about world cultures at home!
What do you think? Time was short, and I may have missed important ways to incorporate culture at home. What are your favorite cultural activities with your kids?
Michelle Seitzer is a writer who loves elders, chai lattes, satire, all things Norway, antiques, her family, NYC, the arts & her Boston Terriers. She is currently in the process of adopting a child from Bulgaria.
Us: “We’re adopting a child from Bulgaria!”
Them, occasionally, but not often enough: “That’s great! How exciting for you.”
Them, in most cases:
a. “Oh boy. That means you’ll probably end up pregnant soon!”
b. “Make sure you get a baby, or a really young child.”
c. “My sister’s husband’s friend’s brother just adopted; do you want to talk to him about it?”
d. “We would do it too if it wasn’t so expensive.”
e. “Why don’t you just get one from around here? There are so many kids in the US who need homes.” Continue reading
Watching Guangzhou traffic, and squealing “coche!!” for the first time (2008)
Much to our delight, when our son Toñito was 3.5 he said his first word in Spanish: “coche!” pointing at the cars zooming past our hotel in Guangzhou, China. That’s right, we were finishing his adoption proceedings in China. We had just met our adorable, Mandarin-only-speaking son 10 days before, and immediately began speaking to him in both English and Spanish (with a healthy sprinkling of our limited Chinese!). Continue reading
Today’s wonderful guest post is written my friend and fellow teacher and adoptive mom Gina, who shares her adventures in nature, the arts, literature, and meaningful play with her toddler son Grady on her blog famiglia&seoul.
As an adoptive parent, I feel that one of my most important jobs is to help my son develop a deep connection and love for his native country. Even though we are living in the States, Korea is an important part of our family culture. I often wish that we had more time to explore the land and its people when we made our journey to meet out son. The week that we spent there went by so quickly, leaving little time to discover the customs and sights of this beautiful country. As my son grows, I hope to find different resources that will help paint a picture of where he got his start in life.
Since he is still so young, one of the easiest ways to help him begin to get a basic understanding of Korea’s customs and cultures is through stories. Continue reading
Many adoptive families are transracial and intercultural, bringing together 2 or more different backgrounds under the same roof. I have had many adoptive parents ask for simple ways to teach their children about their cultural heritage, when it is different than their own. Here are 14 ways you can incorporate culture TODAY into your children’s lives- but this is not an exhaustive list! Please add your comments after the article and share ways you incorporate culture into your family:). Continue reading
In 2008 my husband, 3 year old daughter Vivi, and I spent 3 amazing weeks in China. This was no ordinary vacation- though we would be sightseeing and playing tourists for some of the time- this trip was to bring home our new 3.5 year old son from faraway Urumqi. I am re-writing our journal here, adding in travel tips for parents traveling with kids. My goal is to inspire families to travel together- even with kids! Continue reading
When my kids were 3 and 4, we began talking about race with our kids, especially when they noticed differences:
Vivi (age 3): “Mommy, Ana Maria has brown skin.”
Me: “Yes, she does. Who else do you know who has brown skin?”
V: “Um…. Olivia?”
Me: “Yep. How about in our family?”
(Thinking really hard, she can’t come up with anybody).
Me: “What about Tonito? Or your tíos?” [referring to her brother (China), and aunts and uncles (Mexico and Peru)].
V, after deliberating in her head and trying to picture them and imagine their faces, a light bulb goes off and she is excited at the realization: “Yes!”
From this day on, Vivi began to talk about skin color. We had celebrated our cultural heritage, but hadn’t made a point to talk specifically about the beautiful rainbow array of skin colors surrounding us. Her favorite question “why?” was the impetus of our quest to discover the reasons of skin color. This was my attempt to explain to a 3 year old that our physical traits existed because of our ancestral background– without getting in over her head about the human migration out of Africa, dominant and recessive genes, melanin, natural selection, etc: Continue reading