To start with some times I forget we don’t live in India, I mean we eat the same food, watch the same stuff on TV, move around with the same people we would with in India. Having so many families in the same building it always felt like that. We celebrate some festivals with much more favor too. But then again it is a lot different here.
Firstly, the schools, the curriculum and the teaching methods are totally different. For us, some how, fun and education can never be mixed. However, here anything you teach a child, you have to make it fun. Whether it’s your daily studies or even some thing like swimming. When my 2nd grade kids learns directions she says “never eat soggy waffles”(North East South West). They use rhythm and songs for lots of stuff and not just for the little kids. And they do lots of hands on experiments and crafts to teach concepts.
My daughter in second grade I was talking about even writes poems, opinions and other stuff and am surprised, I always remember copying stuff and writing them again and again at this age. The other day she told me she did a book review! Yeah, it’s just a Dr suezz book, but that’s the stuff she reads, so it still surprises me. These kids, from kindergarten itself they try to write stuff, even if it is just a sentence and they draw a lot too. I had to go on google to see what illustrating a poem means, I dint know it before.
One more very interesting thing we are trying to adapt back home is sports, they are considered very important here. I have seen this difference in my daughter who though always loved dance, probably the only physical activity she loved, she has started to love sports and other forms of exercise too.
One more thing I love as a mom here is that any where and every where we go, some entertainment for kids is arranged for sure. We as a family like to go to the mall. I love it for the obvious reasons and my kids love the awesome play area there. While I just love IKEA so much, I love it also bcoz there is a Smaland (supervised play area) for kids while I check out every thing peacefully there.
But obviously, every thing is not hunky dory. The kids miss on being with their grand parents and the rest of the extended family, specially, the parties and functions. The grand parents also miss watching and pampering their grand children. However, technology helps a lot. But on the flip side, is the quality time we get here with the kids. In India my husband would take more than 2 hrs just to get back from office to home and even when he is back I couldn’t expect him to laugh and play with kids, he would be so tired by then. Contrary to that, we have lot of time as a family here.
But staying in a place with a whole set of a different values from what we grew up, sometimes makes it is very difficult for us parents to raise our kids here. Once, when I asked my kid to do some chore for me, she expected me to not only say thank you, but also give her some pennies. I was at once taken a back by the idea of giving her money for helping me. I mean it sounded different, though I already knew it is done to encourage kids to help and appreciate them for their effort. I was actually in total confusion whether to change my idea or hers. As a matter of fact both the are not wrong, but which to choose sometimes becomes the question.
When it comes to choosing, for an educated and capable mother the most difficult decision is to choose between work and staying at home. Unlike India, here the whole system is in a way do accommodate both busy full time working parents. So the whole infrastructure welcomes you to work satisfactorily and taking care of the kids devotedly. Though however, the visa status may not always welcome you to work😉😜.