Making New Friends

In many cities through the United States the new kid in your neighborhood will as likely be from Bangladesh as from Boston. Here are some tips for your child when reaching out to a kid from another culture.

• Try to learn some of his or her heart language. The child will likely be an eager teacher. Have your children ask the new kid to teach them words like “hello,” “goodbye,” and “thank-you.”
• Learn about the child’s culture. Make it a family activity to study about the customs, religious beliefs and traditions of the child’s culture. Most of your needed research is available right from your computer.
• Encourage your child to be open to new foods. With new friends from new countries comes new foods! This can be tough for a child. It’s also a great opportunity to teach your child how to try new foods. Help them understand how it can feel to his or her new friend to turn down the home-cooked food of another culture. Praise your child when he does eat something new!

How do you make it a family activity?

It’s important you lead the way in reaching out to new people in your neighborhood. Your kids will follow your example. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
• Bring a welcome gift. Take a basket of things the new family can use in their time of transition—like snacks, cleaning supplies or a map of your city. Or cook the family a meal!
• Invite the family over for dinner. New families who are busy preparing their new home will appreciate the break. Your family will appreciate meeting someone new!
• Invite the new family to church. Even if the new family is a church regular, they probably don’t have a church in the community. Offer to let them sit with you at your church service.

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