The benefits of raising expat kids
This is a reflective article published on Expatica.com recently by a former expat mom. What are your experiences raising children abroad?
Do you have “third-culture children”? Excerpts below.
Why expat life was good for my kids
Nervous a child’s life abroad might lead to problems as an adult? Relax, blogger Maria Foley tells how expatriating her family brought positive character to her kids.
“…Raising kids is a crap shoot: you do your best, but there are no guarantees they’ll turn out well. Throw in a parenting choice that’s the slightest bit unconventional — moving to another country with your children, for example — and you’d better steel yourself for the self-doubt and parental angst that’s coming your way.
It’s a rare expat parent who doesn’t have at least one major crisis of conscience over the decision to uproot their children and replant them on foreign soil. I wrestled with the bad-mommy demon countless times.
Halfway through third grade we moved to France, and all her old fears and insecurities came back with a vengeance. The first day of school was a disaster.
Soon, though, she began once again to shed her old skin and become someone new. She made friends in both languages, and surprised us all by becoming the best French speaker in the family. There was no school bus in Bordeaux, so she conquered the transit system instead. Most amazingly, she began to perform, taking part in piano recitals and the school talent show.
“I love living in France,” she said.
Exposure to different cultures has endowed them with remarkable maturity, adaptability, a sense of independence, and an open-minded approach to life — not to mention top-notch language, social, and cross-cultural skills…