Articles from December, 2010

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Intentional vs. Default Parenting

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Intentional vs. Default Parenting
Everyone in my family had saved up in anticipation of my arrival. Nonetheless, when I was under one year old, they needed part-time childcare for me while my mother Nina went back to work as a nurse. My mom had heard of another nurse who had recently taken leave and might be willing to watch me. Enter Simone. My mother is a lesbian and Simone, a born-again Christian. Hence, she thought I was pretty special because I was one of the chosen people. We did lots of biblical coloring pages. I remember watching an older sibling in the family get in trouble for using the Lord's name in vain sometime during my toddlerhood.  Read more »

Help! My Bilingual Child Won’t Speak My Language

If you find your child refuses to speak your language, don't hit the panic button just yet.  Read more »

Japanese New Year: January 1st through January 3rd

The Japanese New Year, shogatsu, spans several days from December 31st to January 3rd.  Read more »

Japanese New Year Recipe: Ozoni

Ozoni, or mochi soup, is a Japanese holiday meal traditionally prepared on New Year’s Day  Read more »

Celebrating Guru Nanak’s Birthday at Gurdwara

I don't believe in the Beatles. "I just believe in me." John Lennon had it right. Little did he know when he penned the lyrics to "God" in 1970 that he was echoing the very same sentiments that Guru Nanak, the founder and first Guru of the Sikh religion, professed nearly 500 years prior. "There is neither Hindu nor Muslim. So whose path shall I follow? God is neither Hindu nor Muslim, and the path which I follow is God's.  Read more »

Armenian Christmas: January 6

Armenian Christmas, also known as Theophany, is celebrated one day before the Orthodox Christmas. Although Armenia follows the Gregorian calendar, when the Romans changed the date of Christmas to December 25 in the fourth century, Armenians held to the original January 6th date. Santa Claus/Father Christmas is known as Gaghant Baba to Armenians. He traditionally comes on New Year's Eve (December 31st), which is the start of the holiday season leading up to Christmas.  Read more »

Ringing in the New Year the Japanese-Buddhist Way

New Year's is a huge festivity in Japan, larger than any other holiday observed there. After my first experience in 2008, I couldn't help thinking that it was Christmas and Thanksgiving in the U.S. all rolled into one three-day festivity. Japanese New Year, or shogatsu, inherits much of Chinese tradition, but is fixed to the Western solar calendar, and has evolved into a holiday that is uniquely Japanese.  Read more »

Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories

Japanese Children's Favorite Stories By: Florence Sakade and Yoshisuke Kurosaki Review By: The Editors   First printed the early 1950's, this is the third edition of the book. It contains ten classic Japanese fairy tales from the original printing together with ten newer stories. The stories are full of fantasy and provide a window into another culture without needing experience in the culture for children to appreciate them.  Read more »

Languages of the Mind and Heart: Growing up Trilingual in the UK

As someone who loves to write and read, a love of language and words fits naturally. My family is of Punjabi origin, hailing from Jhelum, Pakistan and therefore speaks a Patwari dialect of Punjabi. Growing up, I spoke Patwari with my mother and grandparents; this was the language they scolded us in (Danger! Animals!) and loved us in. The dialect they used is exactly the one they brought with them from Pakistan to the UK forty years ago.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in the U.S.: Russian, Spanish, Dutch and English

Welcome Trevor and Rocio! Where are you from? Trevor: Breda, Netherlands Rocio: Mexico City, Mexico Where do you currently live? Queens, New York (Richmond Hill) Which countries have you lived in since you've been together? Just one—the U.S. How did you meet? Trevor: We met at a Valentine's Day party in NYC where I met you (the editor—Stephanie).  Read more »

Why African Babies Don’t Cry

I was born and grew up in Kenya and Cote d'Ivoire. From the age of 15 I lived in the UK. However, I always knew that I wanted to raise my children (whenever I had them) at home in Kenya. And yes, I assumed I was going to have them. I am a modern African woman, with two university degrees, and a fourth generation working woman, but when it comes to children, I am typically African.  Read more »

To Korea, With Love: Grieving the Loss of the Foster Family

In the two years that my husband David and I had been trying to adopt, I had thought a lot—a whole lot—about the day we'd first meet our child. I had envied friends' photos of meeting their children, wondering what it would be like when (and at times if) we adopted our child. I had romantic notions that we would be crying with joy, holding our child, who would likely be confused and upset, but somewhat placated by the food and treats we would have brought him or her.  Read more »

Muslim Children and Christmas

Christmas is a favourite time of year for most people, parties, gifts, special foods and family traditions--what is not to like? But for most Muslims, this time of year always brings with it a host of issues to consider: should we participate? Should we join in the office parties and games of Secret Santa? Or should we avoid the celebration totally, writing it off as not part of our faith? For those with children, the decisions we have to make require even more consideration.  Read more »

Is bilingualism hurting my niece’s language skills in both Spanish and English? Are two languages causing her to have low verbal skills?

Dear Dr. Gupta, I am not sure what to do about my niece’s English and Spanish. She has grown up in a bilingual environment. Her Mom speaks to her only in Spanish and her Dad in a mix of English and Spanish (both are native Spanish speakers and my brother (her Dad) was born in the Dominican Republic like most of the family but moved to the U.  Read more »

Are grammatical errors ok when speaking a second language to a child?

Dear Dr. Gupta, I am a native English speaker with a passion for German. I studied it in college and lived and worked there after graduating. Dear friends communicate with me in German and I have command of a large expressive vocabulary; however, my grammar, tenses, gender of nouns, etc. are all extremely weak. My husband is half Filipino and half African-American.  Read more »

Raising Bilingual Children in Non-Native Language: Tools for Parents

So your kids have a ton of target language DVDs, books, websites and toys to fast-track their bilingualism, but what about you, the parent? If the target language isn't your native one, you'll be wanting to maintain and improve it any chance you get. But as we all know, being a parent doesn't give you the luxury of long stretches of free time for language-learning! The best way to keep up your language skills is to work it into your day-to-day life.  Read more »

What’s for Dinner?

They say the last holdout of cultural assimilation can be found in the refrigerator, or the kitchen cupboards. Food is such a primal thing—we are what we eat. I was thinking about this yesterday, watching Matthew eat his snack: peanut butter and jelly on Lebanese bread. A French friend who was visiting laughed and made a comment about the marriage of two cultures.  Read more »

The Season of Stars

It is the season of stars--the star that led the magi to the Christ child; the Star of David, central symbol of the Jewish people, which shines so brightly on the world during the celebration of Hanukkah; and the nine-pointed Baha'i star that rises a little later in the winter season, in February, during Ayyam-i-Ha, the five days of hospitality and gift-giving that precede the Baha'i fast.  Read more »

Parenting Against Society

Okay, having spent 800 words convincing you that I don't wander into people's homes to judge their parenting, now I can start playing Solomon—cut that baby in half! Let the judgment begin. For the record, often I don't feel like I have a philosophy until someone else's parenting is counter to it. Sometimes it surprises even me the things that I disapprove of but I have racked up a list of questionable behavior over the years.  Read more »
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Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

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My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

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Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

Children need to see the world around them reflected in books.

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Our Editors favorite multicultural books for this holiday season.

Will Three Languages Confuse a Young Child?

My wife thinks three languages will confuse our child. Is she right?

11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa

Try a few of these from this fantastic selection of African-American holiday books

What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal

How do I explain to my kids the racism that does not come in the form of explicit laws and overt, blatant prejudice?

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French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

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Would you pick up a stranger's child or is that invasive?

Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family

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Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids

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Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

At what age does my darling black son begin to look like a threat to the world?

A Book that Celebrates Cross-Cultural Friendship

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My Daughter’s 10 Favorite Multicultural Books

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I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids

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Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More

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Beautiful children's stories from Nepal to Tibet

Why African Toddlers Don't Have Tantrums

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A celebration of faith around the world through simple text and rich illustrations.

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After Her Husband’s Tragic Death, She Embraced a Religion and Culture Not Her Own

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Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
[…] B. Breasts are for Babies? Perceptions of Breastfeeding in Italy. In Culture Parent June […...
From Breasts are for Babies? Perceptions of Breastfeeding in Italy
[…] that “beatings” are not actually spankings. There may be some truth to this because African tribal culture does not support “spanking”. This is confirmed by my own observation in S...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
[…] Pomlazka, a special handmade whipping stick, is an Easter tradition in the Czech Republic. Made out of pussywillow tigs, pomlazka is braided and then used by the village boys/men to “...
From What’s Easter without a Whipping?
Hi Hajar! I have 3 (almost 4, 10 weeks to go), we sleep on a king mattress with a single beside it, generally I sleep with the 3 on the King and my husband is on the single! (Babies are 6,4 and 1). ...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Dear Arabic Dad, I disagree with Dr. Gupta's advice to drop Arabic if your children reject it. If you show your children that you are willing to speak English with them, they will not make the effor...
From How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad’s language is limited
How to teach our children, daughters in particular, how to live not as a victim in a world where they are victims? Sigh.... we so much want them to live in the santa clause and tooth faery and ideal...
From What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal
What a wonderful review! If you're interested, we'd love for you to link up this post (or any other that features diverse kid lit) with the Diverse Children's Books Link-up! You can find it at ...
From 2 Children’s Books about Jamaica
This is exactly what I wanted to teach my students. They are learning about traditional games from around the world and I found this wonderful website to get full of useful information! It helped me...
From Five Fun Games from Around the World
Hi there! Once you baby gets past the 3 month mark, it sounds like you still should wear or carry them?! Do you just not bundle them up as much or how do you wear them? Do you have any pictures :) m...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Hi! I am wondering when you breastfeed your baby that long.. 4 years or so.. Do you ever introduce solids to them? Or so they just drink breast milk until age ...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/12/how-to-raise-confident-asian-pacific-american-daughters/ […...
From How to Raise Strong and Confident Asian Pacific American Daughters
This is a great collection of ideas for Chinese culture projects from some of my favorite bloggers! Thank...
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From How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad’s language is limited
I do call it latvian flashmob: just "break the door" and Come with my family to celebrate somebodys nameday. You Will never know how many guests Will be there....
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Hi Mira, Love your list. I would add the following titles: - Grandfather Gandhi, by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus - The Last Kappa of Old Japan, by Sunny Seiki - Fly Free, by Roseanne Thong -...
From Best Asian-American Children’s Books
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Thanks for this lovely post! I agree completely -- all our kids need to see themselves reflected in literature so that they know that their stories matter too. I'd love it if you checked out my bo...
From Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children’s Books
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From Chinese New Year Recipe: Yuanxiao (sweet rice balls)
[…] Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan | InCulture Parent […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Thank you for your post! I am also working through raising my child with a sense of religious community and ritual without strictly adhering to certain interpretations of religious faith. (And also ...
From Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family
I don't understand. I always thought that discipline was a major part of far East culture. (no racism intended of course). So I'm a little confused. Were the examples mentioned in the article consid...
From Cross-Cultural Differences in Discipline in Japan