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Hearing Parents in Every Language

by Holly Elissa Bruno
September/October 2003
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/hearing-parents-in-every-language/5015358/

How far can the willow bend?

The wise woman said, "To find your treasure, look in your own backyard." Child care professionals do not have to travel far to find the riches of the world. Children and their families from Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Romania, Nigeria, Kuwait, Creek and Cherokee nations, urban and countryside America, bring opulent, vibrant, runny-nosed treasures to our programs.

In appreciation of these treasures, we invite each child and her family to be "at home" in our centers. We want everyone to feel welcome, respected, honored in the richness of her diversity. NAEYC's Code of Ethical Conduct reminds us to respect each family's differences.

What happens, however, when one of our core values clashes with the new family's beliefs and practices?

Kaori's (age 1) mom tells you her daughter must use the toilet.

Six-year old Amalia sleeps in the same bed with her grandparents.

Emmaline Rae's dad declares no man is allowed to look at his baby daughter's uncovered body.

Jinhee's mom appears dispassionate about those deep purple bruises on Jinhee's bottom.

Mr. Khan instructs you to treat his son like a prince, and his daughter like the obedient wife she is bethrothed to become.

When is the traditional American standard to ...

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