Tag: worldview

Oct 3 2012

Helping your kids develop a global worldview, part 3

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

Small changes, big impact

This is the third installment in our series about helping kids develop a global worldview. View part one here and part two here.

Global worldview for kids

Sometimes when we imagine the people we want our kids (or ourselves!) to become, it can feel paralyzing. How do we get there exactly?

Kristin Littrell and family

Kristin Littrell and family

Although it may sound clichÈ, I do think we become a sum of our days. We all know that the old Chinese proverb is true: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step.”

Sometimes small changes, casually sprinkled into daily life, really can take root in our kids’ lives, and our own.

The map on our table

Every morning, noon and night, our preschooler perches at our dining room table, her brightly colored world-map place mat catching her many drips and spills.

I bought the place mat on a whim one day when she was just an infant. It seemed silly at the time to buy a place mat for a child that wasn’t even eating solid food yet, but it wasn’t.

As I’ve said before, I want our kids to have a global worldview, and this was a tiny step in that direction.

World map placemat

Quickly, my infant become a toddler, gave up the high chair, and started making milk-puddle messes at every meal. So I pulled out the place mat. For months, it was just something to protect our dining room table ñ nothing more.

But then my parents took a European vacation and over breakfast one morning, they showed my daughter the country they visited on her place mat. And it clicked for her. She proudly identified that country every day for weeks.

Then other family members traveled, and we learned that we have friends moving to Ethiopia, so she added those destinations to her repertoire of countries identified on the map.

Slowly it snowballed, one country after the next.

Her world-map place mat became her pride and joy. When friends came over to play, she eagerly showed them these countries, and told them the personal stories behind each one.

As I listened to her, it was hard not to catch her enthusiasm for the world at large.

Her tiny voice would practically scream, “Did you know this is England? And this is Ethiopia? Our friends are moving there … ”

It was like she was saying to her friends, “Did you know that this ñ our neighborhood, our city, our state – isn’t all there is?”

She was filled with possibility, with adventure, with a dream for what is out there. Is there anything better?

Growing world-changers

The map serves to expand her reality, gradually teaching her that there’s a whole world out there, where people live, and work, and play. A world just waiting to be explored, and people waiting to be loved.

All of that, from a simple place mat.

We hope this interest in the world will later translate to a desire to make the world a better place.

A Harris Interactive poll states that only one in four Americans believe that they bear “some responsibility to create a better world.”

If that’s true, then we’re going to need some world-changers.

Developing a global worldview doesn’t have to be daunting, or all-consuming. You could start with a place mat, like we did, or something else that works for you or your family.

Maybe you choose to decorate with a globe or map, or you start reading the tag on your clothing to find out where it was made. Small steps often lead to bigger changes in the heart and the mind, which is really what matters most.

How do you stay mindful of the larger world around you? Please share your ideas with us!

(If you’re looking for a world-map place mat, a quick Amazon search for “world-map place mat” yields several inexpensive options.)

Aug 23 2012

Helping your kids develop a global worldview, part 2

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA freelancer

This is the second installment in our series about helping kids develop a global worldview. View part one here.

Global worldview for kids

Like many young families, we read a lot in our house.

Kristin Littrell and family

Kristin Littrell and family

Some books are just silly, others teach subtle life lessons. Slowly, we’re adding books to our collection that purposefully introduce a global worldview.

Interestingly enough, these are some of our preschooler’s favorite books in her library.

They’re the books she chooses to keep with her at rest time, looking through them time and time again.

Three of our favorite books that teach kids a global worldview

The Sandwich SwapBarnes and Noble description:

Lily and Salma are best friends. They like doing all the same things, and they always eat lunch together.

Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummusóbut what’s that between friends? It turns out, a lot. Before they know it, a food fight breaks out. Can Lily and Salma put aside their differences? Or will a sandwich come between them?

The smallest things can pull us apartóuntil we learn that friendship is far more powerful than difference. In a glorious three-page gatefold at the end of the book, Salma, Lily, and all their classmates come together in the true spirit of tolerance and acceptance.

After we read The Sandwich Swap the first few times, we took Kate, our oldest, to a nearby Mediterranean restaurant so we could eat hummus, just like Salma. She loved it. See the other book recommendations

Jul 25 2012

Helping your kids develop a global worldview, part 1

Global worldview for kids

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA freelancer

I’m a mom to two young girls, and there’s a lot I don’t know about parenting. A lot.

Kristin Littrell and family

Kristin Littrell and family

But I do know that my husband and I long for our children to have a global worldview.

We want them to know from a young age that they live in a world bigger than their school, neighborhood or even country.

We hope they’ll see their life in relation to the world, not just in relation to the girl at school who has more trendy clothes or takes better vacations.

We believe a global worldview produces compassion, a celebration of diversity and a belief that we are all, regardless of location, created in God’s image.

We pray it will encourage our kids to make choices that benefit the good of others, sometimes even at the expense of their own desires.

Because our kids are still young, we’re just beginning this journey, but we’re doing a few things that we hope are planting the seeds of a compassionate global worldview in their hearts and minds.

I’d love to share them with you through a few upcoming blog posts. For now, let’s start by watching the Olympics with our kids.

Let the Olympics bring the world to your living room Read more