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.
Today’s topics is raising kids bi-culturally and as an Indian mother in US I can truly share my views on this.
I came to the US around 5 years ago and my kid is 4 year old.
The journey of raising my kid in US was challenging but fun-filled as well.
A plus of raising my kid is he gets to know the best of both cultures and a minus is it’s double the labor for parents to train their kids with the best of both values.
While raising my kid I faced challenges at every stage when he was infant, toddler or preschooler.
For everything I had to research to provide him the best whether from buying milk bottles to toys.
Both my husband and I were born and brought up in India so we were not aware of any kid’s stuff in US.
I remember when my kid was a toddler he got carpet allergy. How hard a time that was as he was crawler and always wanted to be on floor.
He knows several languages: Hindi, English and Spanish.
He enjoys all Indian festivals as the Bay Area gives you a liberty to enjoy each and everything.
He knows a variety of cuisines and is fond of chipotle roll which we were not aware of.
He knows phonetics, which even we both do not know. That part I like particularly in US.
He enjoys both Indian outfits and western.
He was so happy seeing Chinese New Year celebration with a dragon.
This summer I have enrolled him for Bollywood dance classes and Martial arts and he is loving both classes.
Extra efforts for Parents :
1) It’s a lot and lot of home work for parents to give him best of both cultures.
2) As we don’t know Spanish , its hard for him to understand as of now.
3) He is not much into out native language channels but like Disney and nick Junior channels a lot which make us realize slowly that he is loosing interest in Indian culture which make us to work double ,first to convince him, to make him understand and the to make him enjoy that stuff so his interest lasts for longer.
4) Every day it’s a new challenge for us to fine good school, good preschool, good toys as per his age, good nanny in case if school is closed, which I think for us could be much easier India.
But no matter how challenging it is you really enjoy global exposure of your kid with multi cultural environment which I believe grow him to adapt everywhere in a better way, growing them as more confident human being in every stage of their future life.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.