Balanced Melting Pot

How well do we know our children?

In Parenting, Questions on August 25, 2008 at 11:18 am

I recently came across this article written by a gentleman named Mwangi who immigrated from Africa to Australia. As usual, I’m pleasantly surprised to see that even though our cultures  and host countries are different, the stuggles that we face as immigrants are similar. Below are his suggestions for immigrant parents raising children.

4 Tips on Parenting….from a Child of a Parent


Be Aware of Your Surroundings: I think this is quite possibly the most important tip I will share. The way Western societies work, immigrant families usually spend very little time in a given day, together. During these gaps from each other, we as young, fresh minds are bombarded by the most sophisticated marketing and propaganda campaigns in human history. As a result, whatever message they chose to impart in us, by default, is much more powerful than any words of advice you may want to share with us. If they tell us that we will gain worth in society by listening and heeding the words of hardcore gangsta rap artists, then we are more likely to listen to the marketing team at Interscope records than we are to the gentle (sometimes harsh) pleas of a caring parent who we only see two hours a day. For that reason, be extremely aware of what your child allows into his mind through the media, Internet and his peer groups. Which leads me to tip number two:


Peer Groups: Observe your child’s peer group and you can tell what he does with majority of his time and probably what he will do in future. Do you like where his peer group is going? If not, you’d best find a way to get him into a better peer group.


Be Aware of the Culture of the Land: As a result of the huge propaganda campaign a lot of Western cultural norms are now ours. Gone are a lot of our traditional beliefs in favour of what a lot of us (not myself) consider to be the “more modern” Western alternatives. So that means that a lot of us have very different standards when it comes to sexuality, the relationship between adults and children, our place in society, God and pretty much everything you can think of. If you find yourself continually butting heads with your child, look across the hedge and look at how the Australian child relates to their parents, therein may be the answer.


We Are Young and Opportunities are Everywhere: These two are very separate points worthy of their own discussion but I will bunch them together because in my mind’s eye they’re as connected as the Siamese. The reason I did not bat an eyelash when I left school and am extremely confident in pursuing my fortune sharing knowledge on the world wide web is because in my heart of hearts I know two things. One, I am young, full of energy and as a result of growing up in two cultures, very resourceful. Two, even if all my ventures fail miserably, I live in a welfare society that has safety nets galore. I can simply live of the dole while I write my second business plan which I will submit to the government bureaucracies that fund and support small business and who knows maybe I might make my fortune on the second or third or fourth time that I commit to a project I am passionate about. Bottom line: failure doesn’t mean I will starve. So relax, we are here. Push comes to shove, I’ll be fine.


Are you already following any of these tips? If so, what are some situations in which you have incorporated them? Do you disagree with any of these tips? If so, why? Can you relate to any of these issues from your own childhood?

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