Balanced Melting Pot

Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

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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Schools of Thought

In Caracas, Cultural Expectations, Education, Expat, Parenting, Questions on November 2, 2009 at 11:56 am

One of my first concerns with moving to Caracas was the school choices for the kids. I wasn’t sure in which language I wanted them to be taught, but I definitely wanted the school to be accredited by an internationally recognized entity. This isn’t too much of an issue in the primary years, but I have seen too many children have to play serious catch up because certain courses did not translate correctly.

So, my choices for Caracas were two American schools and one French school. I knew the children would be exposed to Spanish regardless and since they are both in English only schools now, I considered not disrupting this in the transition. However, the American schools were insanely expensive 😯 and the French school’s program is very similar to my daughter’s previous school and I think my son would easily adapt at his age.

So, after examining our choices, I am opting to place them in the French program. I had the opportunity to visit the campus while I was in Caracas a few weeks ago and it looks promising. My only concern now is that they might not get as much exposure to Spanish since we will mainly speak English and Haitian Creole with them at home. Hopefully, they will make friends outside of school, as well which will give them an opportunity to speak Spanish uniquely.

Would you have made the same decision if you were in my shoes? If you had to pick 3 languages for you or your child(ren) to know, which would they be?

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Update on the Rat and the Tooth Fairy

In Culture, Immigrant Families, Parenting, Traditions on July 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Current Score:

Rat 0-4 Tooth Fairy

Yes, you read correctly. So far, the tooth fairy is leading the game by 4 points. About a year ago, I wrote about my daughter losing her first tooth and incorporating both the American and Haitian traditions for this developmental milestone. What I failed to consider back then, is that my daughter who is easily scared, would want nothing to do with the rat.

When she finally lost the first tooth, she immediately asked me to put it under her pillow so that tooth fairy could bring her money. I explained to her that she also needed to ask “The Rat” to send her an ugly tooth before going to bed, so that in return she would get a shiny, beautiful tooth. Well, at the thought of “The Rat” paying her a visit while she slept, she told me she had no interest in putting the tooth under her pillow. Since she lost the second and third very soon after, I decided to give her some time to become more comfortable with the idea.

Well, last week she lost another one. She became very excited and said “now the tooth fairy is going to bring me a penny.” I quickly reminded her “don’t forget ‘The Rat’.” Without blinking, she handed me her tooth and said that she did NOT want the rat to come. She also climbed on my bed in record time 🙂

So, as it appears, I am losing this one…

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