Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Daddy, don’t teach me to be happy.
Teach me instead how to live my life correctly. If I do that, I think I will be happy.
Happiness is not the goal of my life. If I am a good girl, I will be happy I think. I want to be a good girl. How do I do that?
1. Teach me how to bend. How to be re silly in cents. (Ed. Resilience.) If I don’t let bad things break me, then I know I am strong. That’ll make me happy.
2. Teach me how to be content. If I am always wanting something, I will never be satisfied. If I am satisfied with what I have it’s enough. Then when something else comes, all the better.
3. Teach me to say ‘thank you.’ If I am grateful for all that I have then I won’t want for any more. And I won’t feel I am missing out on stuff.
4. Teach me to be positive. Hills and valleys will come on a bicycle and in life, I might as well like it. Being negative takes too much energy.
5. Teach me to like myself. I will try to make myself better. But God made me this way and I am going to be grateful with what I am starting with.
6. Teach me to be friendly. I don’t need to depend on whether people like me or not. Instead, I will try to like people and be their friend.
7. Teach me to be creative. This is easy for you, daddy. You can always seem something that other people can’t. I want to learn how to do that. To think what others can’t.
8. Teach me to like being outside. Fresh air, exercise, sunshine, wind, rain all feel great!
9. Teach me to be kind to others. I am not looking for others to be kind to me … though I won’t mind, of course. Instead I want to learn how to do nice things to other people no matter what.
10. Teach me to be encouraging to others. I want people to want to be around me. I want them to feel better, try harder, think smarter, give more because “Mia’s here.”
11. Show me, daddy. Don’t tell me. I am a little girl and you’re a daddy. But I am watching. And I really want to be like you, too. Except for the big belly. He he he.
12. Be yourself. I don’t want a fake daddy. I want a real daddy. I want to be real, too.
13. Teach me how to decide what is most important. And being happy is not important. Being a good girl is important. And happy comes along with being a good girl.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.