Balanced Melting Pot

Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Get out your measuring sticks!

In Cultural Expectations, Education, Immigrant Families, Immigrant Students, Parenting, Questions, Self Image, Traditions on November 29, 2009 at 11:59 pm

image Maybe I’m getting old, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am in my life – if that even makes sense.

So, here I am about to move for  the 4th time since becoming an adult and I’m trying to figure out if I consider myself to be successful. I know that this judgment is relative to a person’s culture and experiences and only I can really know the answer, but I can’t help but to think of what my family (and friends) may have expected from me. I wrote a while ago about cultural expectations for career choices and I think that’s where this all starts.

My mom always pushed us to go far in school. Very early on she made it clear that she expected my sister and I to at least finish college. Check, so +1

Then, I made the choice to get married and start a family soon after graduating college. –1

But, then I went back to school and obtained my masters’. +1

However, I am still trying to decide what I want to do for the rest of my life. –1

Even without my very expensive education 😉 , I would know that this complex equation adds up to 0. Let me also add that I know that my friends and family are extremely proud of me – it’s the successful part that make me wonder…

One thing I know for sure is that I am happy and I wouldn’t have things any other way. I just don’t want my type A personality to look back one day and wonder if I really made use of all my talents… 😥

How do you (or your culture) measure success?

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In this episode of “Kids Say the Darndest Things…”

In Culture, Parenting, Questions, Race Relations on November 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

On our way to school, my daughter was telling me about a teacher at her school and when she mentioned her name (we’ll call her Mrs. C.), I realized that there was a man at her school with the same last name. This following conversation proceeded:

Me: Are Mrs. C. and Mr. C. were related?

Her: I don’t think so.

Me: Why not? They have the same last name.

Her: Well, Mrs. C. is brown and Mr. C. is pink.

Me: Oh, okay.

Now, I have gone out of my way to keep her from using the societal labels of black or white, so everyone is either pink or some shade of brown. I was glad to see that her impressionable mind still hadn’t been tainted, but I also wanted her to know that people within the same family can be different shades; heck, even different colors.

So, the conversation ended like this:

Me: It doesn’t matter if they are different colors. They can still be family.

Her: WHAT!

Me: Yup. They can be brother and sister, cousins, or husband and wife.

Her: I don’t think they’re married.

Me: thinking *I’m not going to go there right now* Okay, well maybe they’re related in some other way.

Her: Maybe you’re right. I’m going to ask them today.

*sigh* I guess at some point I’m going to have a more in depth conversation with her about race. But until then, brown Mrs. C and pink Mr. C will have to do 😉

At what age do you think it is appropriate to explain American race relations to children?

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You’re moving where?

In Caracas, Expat, Parenting, Questions, Thoughts, Update on November 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm

So, every time I tell people that I’m moving to Caracas, I tend to get the same list of questions. Sensing a reoccurring theme with these inquiries, I have decided to post them with the answers below.

Q. Is this a good thing?

A. Yes, it’s a very good thing. My husband has received a great promotion – one for which he has worked hard.

Q. Do you speak Spanish?

A. No, but my husband does and he makes a great tour guide ;-).

Q. Why Venezuela?

A. That’s where hubby wanted to go and it’s not so far fetched – there are strong historical ties with Haiti.

Q. What are you going to do there?

A. Learn Spanish, help the kids get adapted, learn the culture, eventually find a position with an NGO, and of course – write on this blog :-D.

Q. For how long will you be there?

A. Not sure. We are planning on five years, but I have learned to be flexible with our plans because ya never know.

Q. Are the kids excited?

A. Well, my two year-old has no clue. But my daughter (7 years-old) is very happy about the opportunity to learn Spanish.

That’s all I got for now. Let me know if you have one that’s not listed and I will gladly answer.

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