Here's a sample of recent press on Growing Up Global. More links to blogs and news can be found on this website's homepage right-hand Book News column, and continue to check in to the Growing Up Global FACEBOOK page for regular updates.
Pittsburgh Today CBS Local October 2012
Philadelphia Magazine Oct 2011 features
"the wonderful Growing Up Global..." in The Stroller Revolution story
Guest Contributor to ABC News Million Moms Challenge (with links to articles):
Spur the Global Economy – Stay Home and Make a Difference This Thanksgiving
World Food Day and Beyond - 5 Steps to Raising an Adventurous Eater!
Increasing the Odds – For Every Baby – this piece features the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
Doing the Best I Can - Like the Hummingbird (A Tribute to Wangari Maathai and Heroic Mothers Everywhere)
Excerpt from The Power of Moms Review: "This is hands-down the best book I’ve ever read about helping children to develop a healthy, beautiful, meaningful perspective of the world.
I consider myself to be one of Homa’s most enthusiastic (and hungry) students. I’ve never been outside of North America, and although I live in a very diverse part of California, I just haven’t done a very good job at “globalizing” my children yet. I feel like everything she’s teaching me in this book is information I’ve been CRAVING.
In the first chapter alone, I took a whole page of notes–great websites to visit, books to buy, conversations to have with my children, ways to incorporate maps and international music into my home, etc.
My children are at great ages to start implementing this seriously (4, 8, 9, and 12), and I honestly can’t wait to learn more. Thanks for putting together such a fabulous resource.
This book is fun to read and it excites me to action, but it doesn’t overwhelm me. I know you’ll love it."
Listen to the Podcast of Homa's conversation with The Power of Moms: here.
Listen to the Seedlings Education Technology Podcast show talking about what inspired Growing Up Global and what parents and educators can do: here.
Growing Up Global on NBC's Education Nation
Click the BBC Logo to listen to an interview with Homa on the BBC World Service for their Global Families series.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, September 29, 2011: HomeSchooling Tips for Families that Don't Homeschool (nationally syndicated)
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, June 7, 2011: Tune up for summer - Easy, economical ways to help kids embrace music (nationally syndicated, Lifestyle feature)
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, May 22, 2011: Bin Laden semantics
Gatehouse News Service, published in over a dozen regional papers around the US: Introducing Your Kids to Different Religions Can Pay Off
Feeding kids’ interest in global cuisine
Never too early to foster appreciation for other cultures’ foods, say chefs
Wave chef Kristine Subido’s 5-year-old son Kamlin — who’s already traveled to his mom’s native Philippines twice — has a well-developed global palate.
He’ll happily eat a whole fish, including the cheeks. He adores Japanese cucumber salad, the bitter goodness of Chinese broccoli, Swiss chard and sauteed turnip greens — “and he’ll tell me if it’s bland,” says Subido, who is known for her liberal use of global spices at the W Chicago-Lakeshore restaurant. “He makes sure I do the red chili flakes, garlic and the olive oil.”
Like mother, like son.
“In his school, they’re very diverse, so that helps,” says Subido, whose family came to the United States when she was 8. “In his classroom, you see every color, which is great because he’s biracial.” When it comes to food, “he’s one of the more adventurous of his friends.”
Cuisine offers a delicious way for kids to connect to other cultures. But raising youngsters with global palates don’t happen by accident. It’s all about exposure — and best of all, you don’t need to board an airplane to get it.
We Chicago area dwellers are fortunate, as we’ve got a veritable smorgasbord to choose from when it comes to restaurants, ethnic grocery stores and markets that can serve as the setting for tasty cultural lessons.
“It’s been such a timeless tradition over history, bringing people to your table,” says Homa Sabet Tavangar, author of Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World (Ballantine Books, $16).
This international business consultant and mother of three daughters gives parents tools to help their kids develop a global perspective, whether learning how to say hello in different languages or throwing an internationally themed birthday party. She serves up the topic of eating in a chapter called “Break Bread.”
“So much diplomacy and friendship and getting to know people and ‘meeting the parents’ [is done] over dinner or a meal. It really has been such a powerful tool,” says Tavangar, the daughter of Persian parents who is fluent in four languages.
Tavangar, who has lived in the Middle East, Africa, South America and throughout the United States, recently spoke at an Executives’ Club of Chicago women’s leadership breakfast.
“One of our first natural instincts is to nourish ourselves,” says Lockwood chef Phillip Foss, the dad of already adventurous toddler eaters. “When you begin at an early age, you’re halfway there already.”
Foss — who’s lived and worked in Hawaii, Bermuda, France and Israel — and his wife try to get nearly 3-year-old Talia “involved as much as possible in day-to-day [food] preparation. My wife’s got a great touch with doughs and breads. You get [kids’] hands into it, show ’em it’s fun, and it comes out of their personalities.”
Already, Talia loves Jerusalem couscous, which her Israeli mom makes from scratch.
“The best you can do is expose [kids] as much as possible,” says Foss, whose children’s menu at the restaurant in the Palmer House Hilton features roasted salmon nuggets and “market greens” as well as the more predictable grilled cheese sandwich and mini-hot dog.
“Take them to markets in the summer, to farms,” he says. “The most amazing thing about kids is their capacity and desire to learn. They’re all about fun and colors.”
Although Foss’ wife — who does most of the family’s cooking — keeps a kosher kitchen, “We do some Asian food, certainly French and Italian. My wife brings in Tunisian [where her parents are from], a lot of Middle Eastern influences, Indian. We try to keep it diverse.”
And when you’re on the road, suggests Subido, keep feeding kids’ interest in global cuisine.
“Go to the markets first instead of the restaurants,” says Subido, who makes her own baby food for 6-month-old Shamariyah. “Look at all the different fruits and vegetables. Really ask [the kids] a lot of questions.”
Before visiting the Philippines, she and Kamlin “talked about what kinds of foods came from there,” she says. “What he really wanted to do was drink from a coconut with a straw.”
But what if culinary diversity isn’t so close at hand? Now living in a fairly homogenous Philadelphia suburb, Tavangar makes it a priority to visit West African eateries in the city (she took her kids to live in Gambia for part of 2007 to expose them to life abroad).
“It’s one reason I was interested in this book,” she says. “I wanted my children to experience the world. By not being part of the diversity of the world, it was like we were being deprived of one of our senses.”
Grownups can help young people hone these senses by showing their own willingness to sample global tastes.
With kids, “the younger you start, the better,” Tavangar says. “It’s like developing a muscle. The Food Network and Travel Channel certainly have made it fun” to experiment with different cuisines.
And since food brings folks together, why not invite friends to share dishes from your background? Tavangar’s pals have started making her Persian stews and other dishes at their own homes after first sampling them at her house.
“It’s great if you don’t just do it on a special occasion, but you even have it on a Thursday night,” she says. “You have to plan a little bit ahead, but that’s something the family can look forward to sitting down to together.
“You’re having a ‘staycation’—you’re not going anywhere, but you still want to have an international experience with your family. That’s just a really nice thing to share.”
Maureen Jenkins is a Chicago free-lance writer who blogs at UrbanTravelGirl.com.
More tips from author Homa Sabet Tavangar (growingupglobal.net) on helping kids develop a “global palate”:
It’s a small world, after all. Help kids see the similarities in foods eaten around the world. We all eat bread, but it can take the form of tortillas, naan, pita or challah. Likewise, noodles can be Italian capellini, Greek orzo or Asian rice noodles. Sample these at home or at restaurants.
Cook up some fun. Kids are more willing to taste something they made — or helped make — themselves. Help them prepare international dishes as part of a tasty at-home lesson, and invite their friends to join in.
Travel the world by dining out. You don’t need a passport to dine at a Ethiopian, Korean or Persian restaurant in the Chicago area. Ethnic eateries tend to be affordable and casual. Consider visiting one whose people are currently in the news. Learn a few words of the country’s language from the waiter. Even better: Tie a restaurant visit to a cultural event such as a foreign movie, museum exhibit or concert.
On the road, make even fast food “global.” Traveling to Hawaii or a foreign country? If your kids love McDonald’s, drop in to see how local specialties find their way onto the menu. (“Burgers” are made of lamb, chicken or veggies in India; shrimp nuggets are served in Japan.) Or sample the country’s own “fast food,” which may be falafels and shawarmas in the Middle East, or tacos and other hand-held specialties sold by street cart vendors in Mexico.
Spice up your holidays. Add a global twist to Thanksgiving or other holiday menus by incorporating dishes from your family’s own cultural heritage — or someone else’s. Use different spices and herbs. Go Indian with slow-cooked curried turkey, and put a Mexican spin on leftovers the next day with turkey enchiladas.
See the clip for fun ways to start Growing Up Global!
From Scholastic Parent & Child November 2009 Issue:
Parents Express Magazine, December 2009 - Front Page + Full Page piece: "Growing Up Global: 10 Things Your Family Can Do Right Now to Get to Know Your World Better"
Raising happy kids
5 Stay-at-Home Ways to Give Your Kids a Global Advantage
Books, music, and food can give your kids the competitive advantage that comes with global awareness.
By Leah Zerbe
A themed dinner and a movie is a great combo to introduce your child to different cultures.
what you can do
A themed dinner and a movie is a great combo to introduce your child to different cultures.
So why do it?
"Positive experiences with the world’s cultures enhance our lives, and we might grow up to be peacemakers. The other side is that we live in a rapidly changing world, where we know that globalization shapes our daily lives and is a major determinant to financial, career, and personal success," says Homa Sabet Tavangar, author of Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World (Ballantine Books, 2009).
"People of all different backgrounds work and live side-by-side; our jobs might stay here because of global opportunities, or they might be outsourced abroad, eliminated due to global competition or so many factors influenced by a global community," Tavangar adds. Planning a cultural, stay-at-home vacation can be a bit of a challenge, but once you settle on a theme and focus on five components of raising happy kids while teaching them about others cultures, it
Shortly after 9/11, Tavangar, a mother of three with a background in global business development, started compiling positive and helpful resources to teach her children to look at the world in a different way. A year later, she was in
Here are five tips for raising happy kids full of worldly knowledge without breaking the bank.
• 1. Always have easy access to the world. Having a globe or world map nearby, and somewhere prominently displayed, is the first step to helping your child grow up global. "You become conversant in countries
• 2. Feast on unfamiliar foods. Unfamiliar doesn
• 3. Plan a themed movie night. "With this economy, a lot of people don
Even YouTube videos can serve as cultural educators. For instance, if you
• 4. Start a coffee-table-top book rotation. You can travel to almost any spot on the planet through books. And you don
She recommends Hungry Planet: What the World Eats (Material World, 2007), to start off with because food is a wonderful way to bring people together. Beyond that, look for picture books of beautiful gardens from around the world, or anything else that sparks your family
• 5. Listen to music you can
Just remember, parents have to enjoy the experience, too. "You enjoy this music, and your kids will enjoy it. If it feels like homework to you, then try someone else," suggests Tavangar.
October 09, 2009
Obama, The Prize, The Future, Our Kids
I was thinking about the prize, our president and what this means. In a word: Hope. In four words: Hope for our kids. My friend Homa Sabet Tavangar, author of Growing Up Global, put it this way:
"This year’s Peace Prize, like so many of the previous winners, represents something much bigger than the man. (Do you remember anything about the 2008 winner, Finland’s Martti Ahtisaari?) It goes back to hope, an imperative that we must have peace in the world, and we need to focus on the qualities that can get us there. Confrontational approaches to international relations are giving way to a reality that our strength comes from cooperation; that big problems like climate change can’t be neatly solved alone, within national boundaries, and we won’t earn respect by bullying others. Future leaders – our children – can start learning these lessons on the playground or at the dinner table. How you treat others, the conversations you have, and your comfort with those that are different than you can form the building blocks of a wider, global vision. Fun, experiential discoveries in our neighborhoods and cities can connect us with the world, whether it’s engaging in various arts or sports, testing new cuisines, or films or languages or ideas, with new friends from many different backgrounds. We can teach our children that any face can be the face of leadership, of peace and promise – even theirs. The world just reached out with a hand of friendship – how will we accept it, and what will we learn from it?" You can read her entire post on her blog at growingupglobal.net. Let me know what you think.
Want to help your children succeed in the decades ahead? You don't need money. More than anything, building a global mindset is the key to their success. And it's easier (and cheaper) to do than you think!
Like most moms around the world, I worry about how best to prepare my 5-year-old for success. Of course it's hard because I want "success" for her to be about her dreams not mine and at 5 years old I honestly have no idea what she will grow up wanting to be. Will it be a ballerina like Angelina Ballerina? She loves ballet and she is good at it but I'm thinking that's not likely if she grows to her predicted 6 feet in height. Will it be an artist given her penchant for painting or drawing anything and everything? Perhaps. Will it be a business person like her mommy....a career she thinks is cool because "I" make delicious foods she and her friends love to eat like Mac & Cheese and Oreos and because I sometimes get to be "the boss."
Or, will she be more like her daddy - a fearless sailor and a builder and fixer of all things electrical and mechanical? Whatever she chooses in the end, I want to do my best now to prepare her to be successful at it. The question is how? And how to do it now when most of us are trying to cut back and when the conventional wisdom seems to be that we have to spend a lot to help our kids get ahead - be it on private schools, private lessons, etc.
Before I go further, let me confess that I am a product of private school and I did have my fair share of private lessons. And, I will forever be thankful to my parents for the sacrifices they made to enable me to have those things. But looking at the world today, I don't think that any of these things individually will help my daughter succeed as much as how I help shape her attitude towards the world at large. That's why I think we all have to start now to ensure that our kids grow up with global mindsets.
What exactly does that mean and why do I think it matters today? Well, to me it means our kids have a genuine curiosity about the world and a respect for those who are different - those from other cultures, those with different beliefs, those whose values may not be exactly the same, etc. And this curiosity and respect doesn't just apply to people from other nations. It applies equally to those living around us. Fellow Americans. After all, have you looked around recently? Almost no matter where you live in the United States today, you will find multiple races, religions and cultures. And, while I understand many Americans are struggling with the statistics that indicate our population will get even more diverse in the decades ahead, I for one feel this is and must continue to be one of our greatest assets.
So, building children who are "at home" with classmates and teachers (and later colleagues or teammates) be they Hispanic, African, Asian, etc., is critical. It's critical for them to succeed in America and for America to continue to be successful in the world. Think about it - everything from business to ballet has gone global. How can we build our kids for success if we keep them isolated from the rest of the world?
And the time to build this mindset is when they are young - before negative stereo types and biases have been engrained. Because we do that to our children -with what we say, what we do, what we let them watch. They aren't born biased. It has to be learned. So I say, let's not teach our kids that. Instead, let's teach them to embrace the world and all the variety therein. For their sake and for the sake of others.
The problems we face today are complex, entrenched and will not be solved overnight. And the only solutions to those problems will involve empathy, compromise and broad engagement. Whether we're talking about health care or nuclear disarmament. Being able to understand and work with a broad cross section of people will be key to success on virtually every issue and in virtually every career in the future.
So, if you agree with my premise about the need for an open, global mindset, what do you do? The good news is that building this global mindset is easier than ever. I won't try to list all the things you can do here because - conveniently - I recently met a woman who shares my point of view and has just written a book for parents who are interested in this idea. It's called "Growing up Global" and it's by Homa S. Tavangar. (Let me make clear here that I had never met Homa until a couple months ago and I have no financial stake in her book's success so my praise is genuine not commercially motivated). The book came out just a few months ago. I loved it as soon as I read it. Why? Because it's a book that everyone - and yes I mean everyone - can use. Because it doesn't just contain ideas like foreign travel or foreign language lessons - things that take money and time many people don't have.
Instead, while those things are in there, this book also has literally hundreds of ideas that every mom (or dad) can do. Many from right in your own home. Many for free. So, really, what's our excuse? I say, let's stop fretting about all the things we may want to be able to provide for our kids but can't right now and start doing something that is important, timely and totally doable. Let's help ensure our kids will always be at home in the world. Let's all start today!
Features Growing Up Global
“Kids can nip prejudice in the bud
Author urges fun approach to leading children past misinformation about other cultures”
For the full story and photo, click here for Chicago Sun-Times, or see below:
Kids can nip prejudice in the bud
Author urges fun approach to leading children past misinformation about other cultures
In 1979, when Iranian-born Homa Sabet Tavangar was a junior high cheerleader in Fort Wayne, Ind., a revolution erupted in the country of her birth.
Despite the fact that she was only a year when Tavangar and her family emigrated to the United States, societal ignorance pegged her as something she wasn’t.
Suddenly, she says, there was “prejudice and the misinformation and not wanting to admit that you’re from this hostage-taking, flag-burning country, which had absolutely nothing to do with who my family is and our reality.”
A key to nipping such uninformed denseness in the bud and broadening horizons, Tavangar says, is starting the education process early. Her new book, Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World (Ballantine Books, $16), is a how-to guide. And many of the ideas put forth therein, budget-minded parents will be glad to know, can be implemented without travelling abroad.
“Focus on the things you love first,” the Philadelphia-based Tavangar says. “Don’t make this feel like homework. If you love sports, for example, use that angle with your kids. If your kids are on a soccer team, go on the Internet with your kids, go on the FIFA [international futbol] Web site, which has lots of fun things that draw you into the game and draw you into the world and that make you feel so connected. You can follow a player whose name you can barely pronounce. You can follow a few teams.”
Tavangar also suggests devoting a weekend to one particular country, and choosing activities — art, dance, dining, music — that evoke the country’s traditions. That’s especially easy to accomplish in a multiethnic city like Chicago, but Tavangar claims it’s possible almost anywhere if you’re willing to drive a bit.
“You can almost spin the globe and say, ‘Where do we want to go?’ Let’s go to Egypt or China or France or Lebanon or wherever it is,” she says. “Maybe you go to the museum for a certain exhibit. You go to the ethnic neighborhood. You go shopping and see the stores. You definitely eat a few meals around that culture. It can be a very fun thing, like a real adventure. And you can also anchor it around special movie screening or a concert.”
Just avoid making it school-like, she warns. Kids don’t want to feel like you’re jamming culture lessons down their throats.
“A couple of years ago, my daughters were both in middle school at the time and really getting environmentally aware and pushing recycling and environmental things,” Tavangar recalls. “I was at the video store and I saw ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was on sale, so I picked it up and I thought, ‘Oh, this’ll be great. We’ll watch this at home with the kids.’
“We’d seen it once in the movie theater, and they just rolled their eyes, like, ‘Are you kidding me? This is the movie you brought for entertainment at home for us to watch together? This is school. I don’t want to watch a middle-aged man’s PowerPoint presentation.’ My husband did a lot better when he brought home ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ ”
Wilmette resident Perry Yeatman, a well-travelled senior vice president at Kraft Foods, thinks Tavangar’s book is a boon to those who can’t haul their kids around the planet in the name of global immersion and enlightenment.
“The kids we’re raising today are the next generation of business leaders and politicians and doctors and scientists,” says Yeatman, the mother of two — including a 5-year-old daughter with multiple passport stamps. “All of those fields need a global perspective to be successful at this point.”
Tavangar’s tack, she says, is geared to “the average mom or dad.”
“What I love about this book is that it is practical, it is non-judgmental. It’s not saying, ‘Gee, you weren’t raised with a Ph.D. in international relations. How could you not be thinking about the world at large?’ It takes everyday occurrences and has tons of options for people that are free, that can be done from your home, that can be done in any community in America. And it makes them easy and practical and fun.”
Recently, Yeatman says, a friend wondered what type of birthday party to throw for her child. Nothing seemed original. Having just read Tavangar’s book, Yeatman suggested an Olympics-themed fete, complete with a parade of nations, physical challenges and a cake decorated with Olympic rings. In addition to being unique, it was relatively cheap to pull off.
Graduating to the next level of international involvement with kids is quite the opposite, admits Tavangar, who has traveled with her brood to Bolivia, Peru, West Africa and, briefly, Europe. Her 16-year-old, she says, just got back from an extended scholarship excursion to China.
“We have really made an effort. We’ve sacrificed financially in other ways so that we could do some travel with our kids,” she says.
“And they love it. They absolutely love it. I really think it’s sort of a muscle [to be used]. Most people can really enjoy what the world offers if you start getting used to it and exposed to it [early]. If you have no idea, that’s when it’s scary.”
1. Keep the world at your fingertips. Purchase an up-to-date globe and keep it handy for easy reference and/or cover a wall near the kitchen table or other central location with an oversized, laminated world map.
2. See the world through movies. View and compare the stories of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Superman, Jungle Book and many more through movie versions from other countries and eras.
3. Get passports. Even if you have no intention or budget for international travel, possessing your own passports will put your family in the mindset of the possible, as a very physical reminder of your world citizenship.
4. Enrich your playlists and music collection. As kids’ become accustomed to musical diversity, they adjust to the various sounds, making the genres feel less “foreign.”
5. Find beautiful books. Vibrant coffee table and kids’ picture books can bring diverse circumstances, people and emotions to life, for all ages.
6. Make birthday parties global. When you’re ready to move beyond the Princess, Power Ranger or Pony party themes, consider choices derived from global celebrations: Bastille Day, Cinco de Mayo, Earth Day, Chinese New Year, the World Cup, Olympics, etc.
7. Spice up Thanksgiving and your take-out choices. Look to your cultural heritage (or a guest’s) or a favorite ethnic food style. Start slowly by using a new spice or herb, or add a new side dish. And don’t forget variations on leftovers: turkey enchiladas, green bean and rice pilaf, dumplings and piroshkies make the next day’s meal almost as exciting as traditional Thanksgiving.
8. Decorate the holidays in a new way. Decorations from Latin America, Russia, Asia and many other cultures are available in all kinds of mainstream stores. Kids might enjoy selecting an ornament from a favorite country, and then find out about what it represents.
9. Use soccer to go global. Pick an international team to follow based on your heritage, your friend’s, your favorite type of food, the language you want to learn to speak, your favorite jersey, or hundreds of other reasons — get creative! The FIFA Web site includes an interactive world map to help you learn about all the teams and member countries.
10. Expose children to foreign languages. There are lots of ways to do this, but start by making the effort to learn a few words in a foreign language with your kids — even if it’s learning how to say something mundane or silly like “toilet” in five languages! See if there are root similarities or other ways that