Archive for the ‘Cultural Assimilation’ Category

La Perdida

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Busy bee loves lavender I’ve been extremely busy the past few weeks. But, it’s been a good busy. In addition to helping out a lot at the Embassy, I’ve sped up my Spanish course and am organizing a reception for my daughter’s First Holy Communion.

About the Embassy business: What can I say about this. I’ve become a jack of all trades and chip in with anything from cultural affairs to administration. It’s so varied, I have yet to figure out how to add any of this to my resume.

About the Spanish course: Ok, I’ve been going at it for 2 years and I’m in module 11 of 12. At this point, it would be a shame to quit, so I’m going to finish it. Instead of going twice a week, I go everyday – which was supposed to make it go by faster, but it’s starting to feel like I’ll neeevvveeerrrr finish. I will though. And when I’m done, all my posts here will be written in Spanish to prove my fluency Lengua fuera

About the First Communion: This is an exciting time for our family. I haven’t been religious for years, but this is a huge rite of passage in the Haitian culture. I’m sad that we’re far from close friends and family because they’re what makes this day even more memorable. However, it’s nice to be able to keep the celebration to a small group of people and I think that will add some intimacy to what can sometimes be overwhelming for the child.

What this means for Balanced Melting Pot: I will keep writing when I have time (I definitely am not at a loss for ideas) and it will continue to be sporadic most likely up until mid June. Even doing a million things a day and not knowing where the time goes, I still miss writing here.

Random fact: my name means bee in Greek Sabelotodo

Hovering is not for me

Monday, September 26th, 2011

The past few weeks have been all about getting used to early mornings again and of course the obligatory parent/teacher meetings (I think we called them “open house” when I was growing up). During the meeting for my daughter, who is in 4th grade now, I noticed something strange…

The teacher was going over the curriculum and the weekly schedule for assignments. She also gave an overview on each subject, as well as how she was going to evaluate them. Every time she mentioned a schedule, I saw parents’ heads go down to write. That’s when I noticed that the majority of them had notepads. What?! You’re taking notes at a parents orientation…for your 4th grader?!

HelicopterOf course I had a moment when I thought – should I be taking notes, too and are they judging me because I’m not? But then I remembered – oh yeah, my daughter is the one responsible for her assignments and quizzes – just like I was when I was her age. I mean, if I do this now, when will it stop? When she’s 12? 15? 18? At what point am I supposed to let her take ownership of her work?

I’ve heard about helicopter parenting and how Generation X’ers (which I’m part of) are guilty of it. But that was in the US. I didn’t realize that I would witness this phenomenon in Venezuela. But then I realized, of course I would. Many Latin American parents expect their children to live with them until they get married. And if they don’t get married, they never leave. I know that this has changed a lot in metropolitan areas, but I know quite a few Caraquenos in their 20’s who live at home. They simply don’t see a reason to move out.

I know that there are many factors to this – economy, limited housing, parents in need of financial support, etc. and I also think that you can live with your parents and still exhibit a sense of independence. However, your parents would have to start instilling these values early on…like before the 4th grade.

So, while I can respect Venezuelans’ (as well as many Americans) penchant to be heavily involved in their children’s lives, I’m going to stick to the agreement I have with my daughter; I will trust her to do what’s right/necessary until she proves otherwise. How do you feel about helicopter parenting?

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