An Expat Parent Talks about Raising Kids in
La Yacata (in Moroleon), Mexico
Oct 06, 2014
An expat mom in Mexico talks about the challenges and advantages of raising her son in Mexico. She and her husband find that their parenting style often conflicts with the norms there. She shares how they handle that.
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
La Yacata (in Moroleon)
How is being a parent in your destination country different than in your home country?
As a foreign parent, there are many cultural norms that I am unaware of which sometimes causes embarrassment for my pre-teen son. Things like registering for school become major challenges because I just don't know the ropes.
What are the strengths of your destination culture's parenting style? What are the weaknesses?
Strengths: Children are considered adults at a much younger age in Mexico. There is not the extended adolescent period common in the U.S.
Weaknesses: Many parents in the area in which we live are not involved in their children's lives. Many children are left to their own devices while parents are working.
Are there specific changes you have made to your parenting style while living abroad with your family? If yes, what are these changes?
I wouldn't say that we have changed our parenting style, but our parenting style is at odds with the community in which we live. We expect our son to be actively involved in the lifestyle we live, which means additional responsibilities for him as compared to his classmates. This, at times, doesn't seem "fair" to our son.
Overall, has the impact of being an expat positively influenced your parenting or negatively influenced your parenting? Why?
Living in a culture different than my own is beneficial overall for my son. He is learning to see the world through different perspectives, helping him become a world citizen rather than a citizen of one country.
Do you have any advice or other thoughts about being a parent while living abroad?
Being a parent in any country is challenging. Being a foreign parent is even more challenging. Patience and love are essential no matter where the location.
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