A recent expat report on parenting abroad highlights the differences one might experience as an expat parent in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia vs. the United Kingdom. One of the most defining aspects of the expat experience is the on-the-ground reality for children and their parents. Expats can be sure that it will be a different life in a new country and culture. For better or worse, it simply won’t be the same had they stayed at home.
What are the strengths of your home culture’s parenting style? What are the weaknesses?
In the UK, parents talk a lot to their children, encouraging them to participate in working out problems and solutions. Education is more about working in teams to solve problems, rather than just completing worksheets as was often the case in local schools in Malaysia.
What are the strengths of your destination culture’s parenting style? What are the weaknesses?
I tutored students in Malaysia and was shocked at the level of studying that the children do. The Chinese and Korean families seemed to emphasis learning, with children often having several hours of tutors, studying and so on after school. One Korean boy that I taught started his studies at 3.30 am! While the parents seemed happy with this situation, I had children burst into tears…
Are there specific changes you have made to your parenting style while living abroad with your family? If yes, what are these changes?
I was unhappy with the standard of education in the International school that my son attended, so I removed him and began to homeschool instead. It was challenging for us both but I was surprised how much I enjoyed learning. Homeschooling brought us much closer together…
Overall, has the impact of being an expat positively influenced your parenting or negatively influenced your parenting? Why?
I believe that the difficulties and challenges that we faced living in Malaysia have brought our family much closer together…
The full text Kuala Lampur, Malaysia Expat Parenting report details more of the ups and downs of raising children and helping to educate them while living abroad.