PARENTING

Cultural Richness around Bringing Up Children

Cultural richness around bringing up children

London, has always been home. Born in the house I grew up in, it was my base for travelling this way and that to all of London’s corners which have attracted me and welcomed me. Its’ beauty owes much to do with its rich culture, hot mess of food and smells, sights and peoples, markets upon markets to get lost in every weekend for a year and then some. You can be all the different versions of yourself in London, learn a new phrase in a different language every week, and still find yourself anew.

Now, with my two children, London becomes more than that. It is now a place where my daughter and son, who have an even more mixed heritage than me, have such a diverse experience that I am learning again to interact with people of all different races and backgrounds, through their eyes.

This week, the second day of the ShopUp at Chelsea Old Town Hall, I was joined by a beautiful group of women to discuss just this – Cultural Richness Around Bringing Up Children, and it was a really joyful exchange of experience and point of view. Seyi, Kim, Amandine, Africa, Fatima and Lauren shared feelings on the conscious choices we make in a multicultural world. Do we want the same for our children as we had ourselves? How do we navigate festivals and celebrations with extended and blended family? Have we carried on old traditions or developed new ones with our children to feel festive or community minded, to partake in the celebrations of others or to live seasonally. We touched on the experience of bi-lingual children, bi-racial children, on learning extensive vocabulary to broach these subjects and how to ensure children are visible in adult spaces. Our panellists shared touching moments of personal treasure – a no 94 bus ride every year to see the lights, packed off with sandwiches and snacks; seasonal wardrobe choices based on skintone and skin confidence.

Cultural richness around bringing up children

We all come from a different lived experience and no one can explain for anyone else. The beauty in embracing the other is for all the similarities which bind us, the differences do also. We get to be in awe at the way a family can be spread across the world, or stick together in the same village, at how some festivities take place over others, at how fluidly children can weave in and out of these spaces we provide for them with grace and gratitude – no hostility to the new, no fear.

Cultural richness around bringing up childrenWhat have you seen in your family that you would love to share with others? Perhaps this festive period may see you inviting new friends around to learn about their tradition or to share some of yours with a seasonal table of delicacies laid out for small and big fingers to enjoy. Or maybe your year ahead will have some intention setting around the kind of people you would like to meet and learn from, the friends your children have made at school that you would like to welcome into your home. May your children paint a new picture for you that is full of colour, smell and taste to create lots of new traditions in the years to come!

Zainab x

• Africa @thevitamindproject
• Fatima @princessandthecake
• Lauren @aspiringkennedy
• Seyi @kamsokids
• Kim @kimbaarda
• Kristal @sparklechild
• Amandine @amandine.lw


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