Expose children to world experiences
July 21, 2014
by Jenni Sebora

I am writing this article in anticipation of the World Cup championship game, Germany versus Argentina.

In fact, our family just received an e-mail from our son’s host family in Germany. They relayed that they, including our son, Caleb, will be watching the championship game with neighbors and friends. The nation is nervous.

Our son is spending July in Germany. He just finished attending 1.5 weeks in a German high school with a friend who was a foreign exchange student in Minnesota.

They are off now, on vacation, and Caleb and his host family are going to Berlin for a week, but not before watching, and hopefully, celebrating the championship game.

Our son is excited about this opportunity to actually watch, and possibly celebrate the championship game in Germany.

He is a soccer player, so he understands the game well.

Germany is on a roll; however, Argentina, of course, is a very tough team.

The game will be played without the winner prediction of Paul the Octopus from Germany – this sea life soccer celebrity has passed away.

OK, I finished this article after witnessing the overtime victory, with Germany taking the title. My son texted and relayed that they did not finish watching the game until about 11:30 p.m. Germany time.

A couple days later, they stood in a cheering, congratulatory line for two hours to welcome home the World Cup champs. He said this was cool.

Statistically speaking, one in six people in the world watched the World Cup championship game. That really got me thinking.

The Super Bowl is really only watched in the US, but sometimes we think it is the game of all games. It reminds me that there is a larger world out there to be aware of, and to witness, if not in person, via books, articles, technology, and television.

My son is only spending one month in Germany, but it is an experience he most likely will remember forever, and it will help him realize and understand other cultures.

I believe you take these experiences with you wherever you go, and you may observe things with a greater awareness of the world.

When the teenage girls from Australia recently stayed with us for a week, both they and my family (as I am sure other families who host visitors from other nations will attest to) broadened their world, views, and experiences.

I believe it is important for our children to be aware of the larger world. Certainly, that information – via actual cultural visits, articles, and books – should be given to them at appropriate developmental levels.

I hope to one day visit Germany myself, which is my heritage, but for now, I will experience it via my son’s stories, and I am sure he will have plenty.

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