A teaching moment arose the other day, where I was able to point out to Dillon the multicultural perspective on a particular show we were watching.
“Awww, do we have to do the multicultural thing?” he asked. It was as though he thought I was just sermonizing on “the right thing to do.” Oh my goodness, I thought–is living interculturally, being anti-racist, just “mommy preaching?”
I’ve got him on traditions and foods (a la the cooked bananas above, introduced to us originally by Dillon’s Brazilian Grandma) But any good intercultural trainer will tell you that just the “rah rah shish boom bah” stuff won’t elicit fundamental, sustainable, organizational change.
And then there’s the parenting basic–as kids get older they will do the opposite of what you say, just because you said it. Reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live skit with Gilda Radner–the parents are on the floor smoking pot, their kids complaining how awful it is and how they would never do that. Once the kids leave the parents stop and ask each other “how long do we have to keep this up?”
“Just Say No” did end up sticking, after so much repetition.
But looking at and Intercultural Communications/ Organizational Diversity Model…leadership has to be from the top down, and actions speak louder than words.
Good to remember.
How do you communicate your values to your children?