Raising kids to be proud of their Latino heritage is a process and starts on day one.
Do you speak Spanish? asked my three-year old daughter to some random teenagers walking by the playground.
“No, I don’t. Do you?” replied one of them with a smile.
“I do! I can say numbers to one million hundred thousand hundred. I can say all the colors of the rainbow. And I can speak to all the people in Ecuador” my kid said loudly and proudly.
This is still one of my favorite momentos of my motherhood career. I was melting with orgullo listening to that girl of mine all happy and proud of who she is.
Raising kids who are proud of their roots is imperative. It’s not only a matter of identity but also an act of love. But as all good things in life, teaching my children to embrace their Latino heritage has been a process with its ups and downs.
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How To Raise Kids Who are Proud of their Heritage.
Since day one music has been my number one resource to raise bicultural children. From lullabies to oldies, songs have helped my children to connect with all the goodness that the Spanish language and Latino culture have to offer.
These days we listen to lots of Selena. The girls were kind of familiar with Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, but recently they were introduced to Selena’s story after watching the movie. I am excited they got to meet la reina and learn about the impact of her music in today’s world.
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The first thing I did when I moved to North Carolina was to look up Latino folklore dancing classes for kids. Dancing plays an important role in the Latino culture and I wanted my children to have access to it.
Today, the girls and I are part of a local folklore dance group that showcases the Latin-American culture via dance in North Carolina. Through the sounds of the marimba and the timbales, the girls have been exposed to the beauty of our traditions and Latino history.
I don’t think they love dancing as much as I do, but as long as they can recognize how to dance between a good salsa song and a merengue, I feel my duty has been fullfilled. 😉
Immersion in the Community
I am not only raising kids who are proud of their heritage, but I am also raising allies and future voters. This is why is important for me to find opportunities where the kids can immerse in our local Latino community. I want them to know our people so one day they can also understand our struggles.
One of my favorite ways to immerse my children into our community is by bringing them to the local events, art displays or age appropriate shows about the Latino culture. I try to find opportunities where they can volunteer and engage more actively with others.
Reading books, cooking, celebrating traditions, and traveling are also powerful ways to raise kids who embrace their Latino heritage. What are your favorite ways to teach your children to strengthen cultural heritage in your children?
We are so excited for our eighth annual Hispanic Heritage Month series! Now through October 15, you’ll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can link up your own posts on Hispanic Heritage!
Find even more ideas on our Latin America Pinterest board:
Multicultural Kid BlogsLatin AmericaFollow On
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes
Kids Spanish Book Club
el Mundo de Pepita
De Su Mama
For the Love of Spanish
Tiny Tapping Toes
The Multilingual Home
Bookworms and Owls
Pretty Mama Breastfeeding
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