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.
Most parents have never been parents before.
Of course, they are going to make mistakes. Nobody does everything right the first time they try.
I am a little bit lucky. I have 2 big brothers. One is a w0rld-class pianist. You can hear him for yourself.
The other is becoming a world-class scientist. He’s getting more letters on the end of his name at a doctor’s school near Boston.
My daddy has experience raising kids. He can see firsthand how things turned out with my brothers. He can remember what he used to tell them and what difference it is making now … or not making.
Point: When daddy gives advice. I think people should listen.
Nobody is perfect. But experience is a great teacher.
Here are a few mistakes he says parents make:
1. “It’s just a stage.” Little people going through stages can often stretch those stages out for 20 or more years. Big stuff starts as little stuff. We need to learn right from wrong when we are little. Teach us now, please.
2. “I don’t have time right now.” If you don’t have time for me when I am little, how can I get used to hanging out with and you and wanting to be with you when I am big. Give me some time now, please.
3. “I will do it for you.” Don’t smother me, please. Let me try. Let me make mistakes. But please protect me from hurting myself permanently. Don’t do everything for me. Show me how. Help me. Also, let me try.
4. “Don’t use too many words.” I like when you talk to me. But not when you use too many words that I forget where the talk started. If you can’t remember the point you wanted to make, how can I remember. Keep it simple for me, please.
5. “Don’t expect me to agree with you.” If you ask me if it’s okay and I don’t think so, what do you expect me to say. I need you to tell me what is okay and what isn’t. How can I know? I am too little.
I don’t expect you to be perfect. It might be your first time being a parent. It’s also my first time being a kid. We’re in this together and I am sure we’ll figure it out.
Just remember … I love you.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.