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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 4, Lesson 2

 

 Adapting Social Activities to meet Family Cultural Beliefs

Grandmother holding babyEarly Steps provides for family-centered services. Therefore, the needs and rights of families related to their cultural beliefs, is a very critical factor. Socially, people act according to the way they are socialized. Families of infants/ toddlers have the right to interventions according to family, personal, or cultural beliefs, even if these differ from the provider's customs or seem to be contrary to contemporary best practice. But there are ways to make the space big enough to "negotiate Cultural bumps" and even embrace contrary ideas or beliefs (Gonzalez-Mena, 2001; Gonzalez-Mena & Peshotan Bhavnagri, 2000; Tabors, P.,1998).

Read Selecting Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Materials: Suggestions for Service Providers to learn how these authors used self-reflection along with education when selecting materials to share with families: This article is in the Resource Bank.

Reflect and consider the following:

  • Get to know yourself. Spend time learning about your own heritage and culture.
  • Get to know as much as you can about the culture of the people you work with. Learn about their beliefs, values, and traditions. Are there specific accomplishments the family or community is proud of?
  • Understand that there are within cultural differences as well as cross- cultural differences.
  • Check on the following:
    • Do materials for families consider explicit assumptions?
    • Is there a preferred format, (e.g., video, written, pictures)?
    • Do they contain technical terms?
    • Have you considered literacy levels?

Read the following two articles to learn about some guiding principles to enhance interactions with families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and to enhance social equity. Both articles are in the Resource Bank.

Think and consider how you would:

  • encourage members of the community to be cultural guides to support you and other families
  • become the bridge that aligns the cultures.
  • respect multiple cultural beliefs - to find the third place.

 

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