Raising children with two different cultures – Is it smart to do?
Hello my name is Jody and I am a father to two beautiful children and a husband to an amazing wife!
Is raising children with two different cultures smart to do? I believe it is.
I know of people doing the same thing in different parts of the world. I grew up during the time in Canada where Multiculturalism was the focus of the federal government’s national identity it wanted to promote. That is another story for another time though.
I believe it is very beneficial to my children that they will get to grow up with access to two cultures, to two languages and two sets of ways the world is processed.
You may know like I do of people that all they have ever known is the town or community they were born into. I want to state I believe there is nothing wrong with that if you are happy with a way of life like that.
I have a few friends who grew up in such situations and will never leave them nor change. It suits them and they are happy.
For myself though I do not want that nor did I want it deep down in my mind for my children.
Languages, Perspectives And Tolerance
My first language is English, my second is Spanish. In the time I have been learning Spanish I have come to realize that languages are shaped by experiences, events, memories, culture and history.
I used to try to understand before learning Spanish what it must be like for speakers of languages other than English. Naively I assumed for some reason though that they would speak, process, listen and interpret language like I did in English. Like all English speakers such as yourself.
Its logical really.
Time, distance, events and the other factors I previously mentioned have affected how in this case English and Spanish developed as languages.
Some words, thoughts, beliefs we have in English can not be found in the Spanish language. The same is true for Spanish to English.
Unless you, your children and family have access to a community of another language and culture I believe you can only pray that you can learn about them somehow.
Understanding and appreciating another culture, language and how people express themselves expands your ability to relate to more of this world we all share.
I believe it creates a greater tolerance for differences between you and people from other parts of the world.
It challenges your unconscious grow and not resort to blaming another culture for current problems facing the world because you will be able to see, hear, speak and interpret the event from multi view points.
It is my hope that when my children are grown they will enter the adult world with an ability to be more tolerant, seek to understand first instead of taking action out of fear of the unknown.
This possibility for them to develop this will in my belief come from learning two languages.
I love a variety of foods from different parts of the world. I want my children to also grow to love different types too.
Being that my wife and I come from different cultures, ways of preparing and eating food I hope they will learn in time to appreciate each culture uniqueness.
It’s fine to go to specialty restaurants such as Chinese, Korean or Lebanese but they will not compare to a real home cooked meal with real people who are culturally from each of those countries of origin.
Unless you can travel the world and spend time learning about different cultures the best most can hope for is those specialty restaurants.
I believe my children will in time learn to appreciate the differences of each our cultures food selection.
News And Entertainment
It is my belief that when my children are old enough, they can understand news from different parts of the world which will be beneficial to them. I am sure you know that news outlets whether on TV, radio or internet most if not all have an agenda.
Most of us can not go investigate what is being said in another part of the world about an event if the language spoken there is different from our mother tongue. It would be beneficial though since we could then compare and contrast the new there and here. We can only depend upon others to provide us with a description of the event, not our own interpretation.
Culture also plays a part in how news is shared. For my children if ever in this situation will be able to understand the other culture and bring some balance into theirs and others views of current events.
How great would it be to understand jokes and cultural references while being entertained by an actor from another culture, speaking a different language other than English. Am I right? Think of how many more TV shows would be available for you to enjoy.
This for my children can be a reality.
If you are with someone who is from a different culture but are unsure if it is smart for you to have children with this person because of the differences I say do not let your fears stop you from being with this person if you really love them.
All relationships have their challenges. None can escape it. The only TWO PEOPLE that MATTER in deciding if it is right is between you and your significant other.
God truly blessed me with two, beautiful, amazing, intelligent children and I owe it all to choosing to be with my wife and us raising our children with two different cultures.
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Thanks so much for reading my post!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns please leave them in the comment section below.
Proud papa of two,