Multicultural Diversity in Counseling Children
The current research investigates the essence of multicultural diversity in counseling children and its role in shaping a child’s social development. First, the paper explores the training process of the counselor aiming to meet the needs of counseling children of cultural diversity. It is a core of the wise decision-making process related to treating children and understanding their nature in the cultural aspect. Secondly, the paper continues to research the topic in the aspect of the optimal model used to reach the goals of counseling children of the cultural diversity. Thirdly, the main treatment strategies and assessment methods will be revealed. In addition, the paper discusses the development in children a cultural sensitivity as a part of the training process. Finally, the research opens the essence of involving parents and society in the counseling process. By the end of the paper, the reader will obtain a complex overview of the topic and its meaning to a child’s development.
Multicultural Diversity in Counseling Children: Introduction
The contemporary world is a complex system of relations between people of different occupations, ages, gender, and culture. Children formulate a significant part of the society, which includes people representing different ethnic groups. Therefore, there is a need to develop appropriate strategies of teaching children to behave tolerantly in the world of multicultural diversity. Moreover, as the contemporary society promotes equality, each child should be aware of equality of each individual regardless of skin color, age, or cultural identity. The following paper is a reflection of counseling aspects in the process of working with children of the diversity. The world has become a melting pot of cultures, which penetrate each country. It means that schoolteachers and counselors need to be aware of the methods of working with children of diversity by excelling their potential in collaboration and communication with other ethnic groups. However, it is hard to avoid challenges in counseling children. The following discussion reflects the essence of problems and questions circulating in the field of counseling children of diversity.
The Training Process of the Counselor
A counselor is a culturally sensitive professional, who should know the strategy of working with children of diversity. The development of the counselor depends on the efforts taken to accommodate to the needs, problems, and nature of children representing a multicultural diversity of the society. Moreover, counselors should work using the same training program with teachers. It will enhance the protection of equality and appropriate behavior of children in a complex way. Counseling children of diversity should become a mandatory element of the training program, which will make it an obligation for every professional to enhance cultural sensitivity.
In general, it is necessary to develop a model for training, which will aim to achieve the goals of training such as skills, knowledge, and awareness. It is necessary to pay attention to each element of the model in a specific way. First, it is important to start from awareness, which sets the beginning of the training process. It is a part of training, which helps a counselor learn and realize personal worldview, values, interests, stereotypes, myths, and attitude towards a multicultural side of the society. This stage should be a required element in order to set the tone of the counselor’s development and improvement. In addition, it enhances an ability to relate to the needs of children and understand their living environment. Further, it is important to develop a counselor’s knowledge. This stage promotes a counselor’s avoidance of stereotypes rising from the social sector. He/she should learn the ways to distinguish a stereotype from the right way of thinking and acceptance of the world’s nature. Moreover, it should be a part, which teaches a counselor to cope with the problems of children facing the issues of social character, family problems, and communication with peers. A counselor should also have an overview of the development of the cultural groups in economic, social, and historical perspectives. With the help of knowledge, it is easier to relate to the culture with its peculiarities, traditions, and specific characteristics. The development of skills should be the last stage of the training model. It is the core of interaction with a child, which covers communication skills combined with tolerance, kindness, and understanding. It should be the main element teaching a counselor to know how to relate to the problems or any issues faced by a child that represents a multicultural segment of the society.
In this aspect, the model for counseling consisting of three elements will be appropriate for the development of highly qualified professionals. In addition, this model is applicable to any counselor or teacher regardless of his/her level of professionalism. It is possible to suggest that this model is also appropriate for transformation of its elements according to the pace of social development. However, the initial idea of the model will remain the same by shifting an overall level of professionalism in counseling.
A Model for Meeting Goals of the Diverse Children
Working with children of diversity may be a complicated task, which a highly qualified counselor should solve. It is hard to claim that every case of counseling a child requires the same strategy. Every child needs a different approach, but a model for counseling remains the same. Nevertheless, a counselor should know how to adhere to the special needs of the child and meet personal goals of counseling.
It is necessary to start the evaluation of a child by understanding the environment of the routine life. Environmental elements of a child include friends and family, culture, and communication with peers. The model should put a child along with its environment in the center of counseling. For example, it is important to consider the role of teachers, parents, friends, and society in the formulation of the child’s behavior. In addition, paying attention to the child’s cultural peculiarities will help to meet needs of understanding the problematic area or issue faced by a child. Moreover, a counselor should assess the child’s condition concerning the life stage, which determines the behavior and other peculiarities of the child’s development. It is necessary to remember that children of cultural diversity are more sensitive to the common problems, which life can offer. For example, a child may find it difficult to handle family issues of unemployment, low financial status, or other problems resulting in social disapproval. A counselor should understand the child’s world with problems, which prevent a child from normal development. The main goal of counseling children of diversity is to reduce social vulnerability by promoting personal confidence and human equality. Understanding is the key in the process of helping a child to handle any problem of either external or internal character. Thus, the role of the counselor is to guide a child through the difficult situation or any other complex issue, which requires help from the highly qualified professional.
In general, a model is a complex approach of analyzing the children of diversity. Each case requires a particular set of steps taken towards the establishment of appropriate model aiming to help a child. However, the discussed model is an optimal part of the counseling process helping to understand the environment of the child. Otherwise, it will be impossible to offer a reliable help to the child willing to feel comfortable and having a free choice to live in terms of the social perception. The main goal of counseling children of diversity is to help solving any problem by eliminating the risk of a child of being misunderstood and mistreated.
Assessment Methods and Training Strategies in Counseling Children of Diversity
In terms of three directions of the development, which include skills, awareness, and knowledge, it is possible to suggest that counselors will have an opportunity to meet the needs of children concerning multiculturalism. Examination of a child should have a complex factor and meet the following conditions of the assessment in order to have an accurate result with right conclusions. It is necessary to focus on the sociocultural aspect of a child, understand his/her environment, including family and friends. It will help to understand the nature of a child’s problems that bother him/her. In addition, an examiner should consider his experience and skills in helping a child. It is important to remember that skills, knowledge and awareness are the main factors in underlining stereotypes and biases streaming from the social sector. In general, the aforementioned conditions should lead to the appropriate selection of assessment methods, which may include tests, interviews, or complex survey techniques. In addition, it might be important to consider the issues related to the language of a child, which might build a barrier towards feeling confident and free in social development. In particular, it is necessary to choose a strategy, which will offer to examine a child’s environment along with culturally sensitive aspects based on the cultural history and language characteristics. A strategy should have a personal character meeting a child’s needs and eliminating both inner and external conflicts that prevent him/her from normal performance. The main goal of counseling a child of diversity is to help in gaining confidence and accepting freedom and equality of rights. A counselor should become a guide through the problems faced by a child willing to break the chain of issues creating discomfort. In addition, the strategy should continuously transform during the process of treating a child in order to meet his/her needs at each specific stage of treatment. Otherwise, it will be impossible to apply the same strategy to every child turning for help of counseling. It means that the responsibility of the counselor is not only to understand and relate to the problems of a child but also to accommodate to him/her by listening to the needs and issues through the process of counseling. The following passages prove that counseling can be effective when other members of a child’s environment participate in the treatment process.
Cultural Sensitivity in Children
Regarding the rise of cultural diversity in the society, there is a strong necessity to extend educational programs and respect multiculturalism by teaching every child to behave in terms of the diverse society transforming under the influence of globalization. There is no need to create new educational material for children in order to develop cultural sensitivity in them. For example, it is possible to include the same elements of counseling in the educational program. Assessment, skills, and knowledge can become reliable elements in helping children to develop tolerance in cultural diversity. Teachers and counselors should think about guiding children through the same process of understanding a multicultural diversity. It will help to reduce the issues faced by other children through supporting them and creating a society full of tolerance and compassion. Teachers can suggest adding extra lecture dedicated to multiculturalism in order to keep children in touch with the main aspects of behaving in the communication with children of diversity. However, the curriculum should be transformed in case of significant problems, which put children of diversity in stress and tension. In particular, all children should learn to accept themselves and others and develop appropriate communication skills. There is a strong need to decrease discrimination and racism by teaching children to respect the contemporary multicultural society. Teachers and counselors should be the ones helping other children to avoid prejudice and stereotyping, which further transform in discrimination. Direct discussions and lectures open for every child can help to enhance cultural sensitivity and contribute to the establishment of respect and trust towards every representative of the cultural diversity. In general, it is a significant step not only in counseling but also in social development free from prejudice and discrimination. Otherwise, children will continue to establish new patterns of communication and acceptance of others by labeling and disrespecting equality of human rights. In this perspective, counselors become responsible for leading society towards improvement and evolution for the sake of acceptance of multiculturalism present in the contemporary society.
Involvement of Parents and the Community in Counseling
In the process of integrating new terms of multicultural understanding in the educational facility, it is necessary to pay attention to parents and the community. It is a significant step in the creation of pluralistic educational environment and community in general. The reason explaining the lack of parents of diversity in school’s development and community activity is that parents feel different concerning the new social principles and standards of the performance. However, workshops including different cultures could become effective methods of solving the problem of multicultural perception. Moreover, it is possible to create social groups covering both parents and their children, which will perform a new tendency in accepting multiculturalism. Standards, rules, principles, and responsibilities of the workshop can integrate the needs of parents and their children and contribute to overall perception by the community. In general, it is important to increase engagement of parents, school staff, and counselors. School is a stage between home and community, which has a responsibility of developing appropriate character traits in children. Whereas, parents should participate in social life of the community in order to bring a demand of being understood and accepted on the global level. Integration of parents in counseling and community activity will become effective in perspective of developing equality and freedom in multicultural society.
The discussed problem has a high significance in terms of globalization. The world shifted from the previous stage of the development to the one where every community includes representatives from different cultures. As the society became a melting pot of cultures, there is a need to improve counseling strategies helping to overcome disrespectful behavior and rudeness. Children should be the first to obtain a special attention from counselors and teachers. It is the start of changes, which will help to rise a generation full of tolerance and understanding with respect to freedom of human rights. Children should be aware of multiculturalism and learn to behave respecting others. Teachers should continuously adjust to the needs of children by transforming the curriculum in case of severe discrimination at school. Parents should also participate in the process of improving the perception of multiculturalism. For example, it is possible to integrate them in workshops and social groups, which can become perfect models for children. Otherwise, the world will remain at the same stage of discrimination and racism. Counselors and teachers should be the initiators of improving society and making a comfortable environment for every culture. The world still has a long way to go to learn treating every culture with respect and dignity.