Articles from April, 2013

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

English is starting to replace Portuguese. What can I do?

By

Dear Dr. Gupta,   My three-year-old child speaks English everywhere and with my husband at home, and Portuguese with me. I recently noticed that she is adding more and more English words in her conversation with me and forgetting Portuguese words that are common in her world, such as the names of colors and animals.   I try to correct her gently by repeating the entire sentence she'd just spoken but entirely in Portuguese, and ask her to repeat it. I'm doing this over and over for the last week.  Read more »

The Sleep Habits of Orphans

From the time my kids have been home, they have demonstrated some strange ideas on sleeping.  Read more »

Korean Children’s Day: May 5

Children’s Day is a South Korean national holiday celebrating, you guessed right, children.  Read more »

My Native Son’s Search for Identity

“I’m apparently, a really good bear,” Akask pulls up a chair to the counter in our kitchen.  Read more »

Meet a Couple Traveling the World for Six Years on Motorcyles

Just north of Akumal, Mexico and south of Playa del Carmen, my husband and I met an Australian couple on motorcycles. We parked next to them at the supermarket and as I waited for my husband to go find some guayabas, the country stickers on their motorcycles caught my eye. Could they be traveling the world on their motorcycles? Sure enough, they left Australia for Indonesia six years ago and have since been to 100 countries around the world and have "100 to go," foregoing only Iraq, Afghanistan and Burundi as they were told to avoid those by people in the border regions out of security concerns.  Read more »

Kids Playing Around the World

Play is one of those magical activities that connects us as human beings. Children have an innate sense of play through which they discover the world and their place in it. The power of play teaches cooperation and connection and allows children to understand cultural norms and expectations as well as themselves and their own emotions. A source of joy and happiness, play is universal to children everywhere.  Read more »

Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

A favorite of my kids, these cookies have the texture of a brownie squeezed into a cookie with traces of coconut. We brought them to two different spring celebrations one weekend and they were a success everywhere. The ultimate test of gluten-free cooking in my mind is when no one can tell something is gluten free. That was certainly the case for these cookies  Read more »

Why OPOL Doesn’t Always Work

When we first had kids, I had understood there were two methods to make them bilingual: OPOL (one parent one language) or mL@H (minority language at home). In the first nine months of my daughter's life, we were OPOL and then some. My husband spoke Arabic to our daughter, I spoke English and we spoke French together. The language of the country was German but the languages of our community of frequent people in our lives were Spanish, German, French and Arabic.  Read more »

Teaching My Child to Find Spirituality in Nature

The past four years feel like a whirl of change with pregnancy, birth and learning how to be a mother. It has been a time of discovery as, little by little, I learn who this beautiful child is that with whom the Creator has graced me. Before Amrita was born, I would often reflect on what kind of mother I felt I naturally was and what kind of mother I would strive to be.  Read more »

How Community Gardens Help Kids Become Good Global Citizens

Over the course of the last year, my family has taken a big step towards becoming good stewards of the Earth by “going green” and building neighborhood ties through participation in our community garden.   Community gardens provide important and valuable benefits for children. This type of gardening makes it easy for your kids to become interconnected nature lovers.  Read more »

Become a Guerrilla Gardener with Your Kids

I love Earth Day.  A secular holiday that doesn't require gift-giving or a grand meal is alright in my book.  I especially love the time of year it falls on—the air is warm, the sun is shining and everyone has an idea of flowers and beauty of the world in their heads.   This year, I decided that our Earth Day craft was going to be different.  Read more »

A Children’s Story Set in India: Bijoy and the Big River

Bijoy and the Big River By Meera Sriram and Praba Ram   What’s it like to grow up on a river that serves as your family and community’s livelihood? That’s the setting of this story that follows a day in the life of a young boy, Bijoy, growing up in Northeast India along the Burha Luit river.   Bijoy loves to swim in the river and spot xihu, an endangered species of dolphin, which is generally blind.  Read more »

Ridvan: April 21 – May 2

Almost 150 years ago, Baghdad experienced a spring such as the city had never seen before and has not seen since. In the last week of April, a wind blew that lasted for days. In the Najibiyyih Garden, in Baghdad’s Rusafa district on the banks of the Tigris River, roses bloomed in profusion as the nightingale sang without restraint. But the spring of 1863 was memorable not only for its physical beauty.  Read more »

Why Arabic is Dead and Spanish is Alive for My Kids

My kids hear Arabic every day from their dad but it’s amazing how much more of a hold Spanish is taking after seven months of learning it. They take Spanish several days per week in a small class with two friends. Plus many of their close friends are native Spanish speakers so we are socially in an environment with Spanish around us pretty frequently.  Read more »

How to Make Recycled Instruments to Celebrate the Earth

The first musical instruments on Earth were probably very simple but powerful creations made from natural materials.  They might have been a drum made from a hollow log, a rasp made from a carved piece of bone or wood or a few corn kernels or pebbles placed inside a gourd to create a rattle.  Early people were really inventive about making music with on-hand materials and we can do the same thing, in celebration of the Earth!   Since life is so different for modern people and we have so much more fabricated material, we can put two wonderful things together—recycling and creating instruments.  Read more »

Taking in the View of Tulum, Mexico

A perfect day in Tulum with my four and six year olds. Wish we were still there. .  Read more »

5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Kids

April 22 every year is observed as Earth Day in many countries to inspire awareness and activism towards protecting our fast depleting planet. On a more personal level, you might choose to celebrate because: you’ve never heard about going green or how to go green you’ve always wanted to be green, but haven’t started yet you need a reminder to keep up the green living you always make green choices but your little one has never stopped to question why you are so happy you live green and want to pat yourself on the back   And how do I celebrate?   Here are five fun ways to fuss over our planet today.  Read more »

When Language Immersion Doesn’t Come Easy

My son has learned three languages in his short lifetime. Now seven and half, Amir was born in Spain, but was instantly privy to a world where three different languages were regularly spoken in his home environment. His father—who speaks Arabic with his family members—and I communicate to one another in Spanish, and my native tongue is English. As his primary caregiver, I felt it was important to speak to Amir in English, and it became the language he was mostly surrounded with in those early years, especially after we moved to the United States when he was only six months old.  Read more »

5 Games to Get Your Bilingual Child Talking

Encouraging your children to speak the minority language isn’t always easy. You may encounter resistance or face kids who understand the minority language but prefer to speak in the majority language. To boost their use of the minority language, make it fun! Here are five games that will help get your bilingual children talking. They’ll be having so much fun they won’t even realize they are using the minority language!   Telephone I had a major bilingual “a-ha” moment this past week when playing the game of telephone with my kids.  Read more »

How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law

I am standing at my kitchen sink here in Beijing. I’m about to wash the day’s final few dishes in a kitchen that I can now spin around in knowing every item is placed exactly where I want it; every cupboard has been cleaned and ordered, the floor is clear of clutter and my beautiful spice rack containing gems like oregano, curry powder and basil is, once again, front and center beside my stove.  Read more »

Learn Latin American Children’s Music Through Chocolate

Have you ever heard of a molinillo? A molinillo is a traditional Mexican wood whisk.   courtesy: Scott Phillips   It is primarily used in the preparation of hot beverages, like hot chocolate. The molinillo is held between the palms and rotated by rubbing the palms together, the rotation creates the froth in the drink.   courtesy: chroniclebooks   You might ask now what does a molinillo have to do with music.  Read more »

8 Tips for Encouraging Bilingualism in Different Personality Types

My girls are playing close by as I’m working on my laptop. Sara, 7, is the lead actress in a production of “princess bride” that seems to be going on in our living room. She is very much in control, giving out directions, talking, laughing and sometimes singing. Her sister, Emma, 11, prefers not to be center stage and mainly speaks to remind her sister of details she has forgotten (like the name of the fiancé).  Read more »

How African Moms Can Teach You To Be a Better Parent

Most American moms can probably relate to these scenarios: You tell your child it's time to go home and he runs the other direction. Or he collapses in a heap telling you his "legs don't work" when you're trying to get out the door. Or after much coaxing, he finally agrees to chew a piece of the disagreeable dinner you've slaved over, and then defiantly pushes the chewed up morsel out of his mouth, which lands squarely on his plate, a disgusting masticated symbol of the end result of your best intentions.  Read more »

Traveling to Myanmar with Kids

We are now staying with our expat friends in Yangon, Myanmar, where we are witnessing a culture undergoing change at warp speed. Our friends have been coming here for nine years and finally moved their family of four here permanently last year. They have witnessed the “before and after” of the EU and U.S. lifted sanctions in 2012, and through their eyes, we too are seeing how a country once shut out from the rest of the world is being stretched to accommodate the influx of people, cars, ideas, trends and multinational corporations from all over the world.  Read more »

How to Fail at a Passover Seder

My Passover seder was a failure. On the first two nights of Passover (or the first night if you live in Israel), Jews all over the world gather in homes for highly ritualized meals called seders.  Dating back approximately 2000 years, the seders combine blessings, rituals, the eating of specific foods, storytelling and singing.  As you can imagine, there is a lot of ground to cover.  Read more »

Vaisakhi (Bhaisakhi): April 14

Vaisakhi (also spelled Bhaisakhi) is a joyful festival on April 14, celebrating the founding of the Sikh community known as the Khalsa. While it historically was a celebration in Punjab, India of the first harvest, after 1699, the day came to commemorate the founding of the Sikh community by Guru Gobind Singh.   The celebration begins with Sikhs donning their nice clothes and visiting Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship), where they participate in special prayers, sing songs and share a meal in the langar hall (community hall).  Read more »
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Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

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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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From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
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I'm Chris, a reading teacher and father of 4 amazing kids. Forget about everything you've read and heard about how and when your child should learn to read - most of the information out there is irr...
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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 -...
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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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[…] 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