Welcoming Families from Around the World

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You are working in an early childhood setting of your choice—a hospital, a child care center, a social service agency. You receive word that the child of a family who has recently emigrated from a country you know nothing about will join your group soon. You want to prepare yourself to welcome the child and her family. Luckily, you are enrolled in a course about diversity and have learned that in order to support families who have immigrated you need to know more than surface facts about their country of origin.

The country that my family is from is Greenland. They are from the city of Nuuk which is the country’s capital.  This is a country that I know very little about. In order to prepare so that I can be culturally responsive I will:

1. I would need to learn their language or find a means to communicate.

2. I would have to learn about the family culture by interviewing the family. I would focus on their hopes of the educational setting.

3. I would also need to know some history of Greenland as well as information about their city of Nuuk.

4. I would also need know their religious culture so if modifications in activities need to be made.

5. I think it would also be helpful if I understood classification of the sexes. This may be taken care of when I learn about the family culture. However, I remember having an Indian family in our school and I only spoke to the husband no matter if the mother was there the dad ensured that we spoke to him.

Making these preparations will help build relationships and trust between me and the family. I will have them involved with getting as I work at understanding their culture and helping them understand the culture in which they live.

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2 responses »

  1. Trisha,
    Greenland I think would be a cool country to learn about. I don’t know anything about it either. I do think it is important to learn about the family structure and understand it. Like the Indian Family you had, in some cultures the is a member of the family that is spoken to and makes the decisions for the family. I know in some cultures is is the eldest member, and others the oldest child.
    Ginny

  2. I think the first thing that you posted was so important…language. It is so key to have a way to communicate with people that is their own so that they know you are really making the effort to be invested in their lives and knowing them.

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