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Raising Indian kids in the USA

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous in Parenting' started by knowmore, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. knowmore

    knowmore New IL'ite

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    Hi:
    My kids are 9 and 5yr old girls. We are in real dilemma whether to move back to India or settle down here in the US. I always think how my children would grow up to be if they are raised in US or India. I dont know whether its stupidity to think of something 10 or20yrs in future but just want to know the difference from someone who had expereince , someone whose kids are now adults.
    I need some advice in raising kids in the US since the culture here is quite different from India.What would be the difference culture wise,even bonding with parents for that matter?

    Thanks
    knowmore
     
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  2. maruthi

    maruthi New IL'ite

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    hi,

    nice thread. even i am in same position like u.anyboby pl give tips


    maruthi
     
  3. puni88

    puni88 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    HI,
    Many parents are in the same situation and confused.
    We are clear with our plans, we would like to move out to India before my elder son turns 10yrs. Later it would be difficult for them to adjust in India.


    ~Punitha
     
  4. KiranUs

    KiranUs New IL'ite

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    This is indeed a sensible problem.
    I do not have children yet and do not face this problem, but i hope i can help at least a bit.

    Maybe try to think about what you want your children to do in the future. I am happy with my life here in the US and I fit in nicely.

    My parents have friends who moved in the US and they are doing very well. They have been here for years, they are a family now and they are raising him (it's a little boy) here.

    I am not saying you should stay here, just think in the future about what you think is more appropriate for your child.
    You could raise the children in the US and teach them about the Indian culture or you could raise them back in India and let them decide as they grow older if they prefer to remain home or move to another place.
     
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  5. dyana

    dyana New IL'ite

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    Hi,

    This is a very genuine problem which majority of Indian parents face back in US. Firstly u need to make up your mind to take up the harsh realities which your teenage kids will face in US. To make ur children prepared to such realities u need to upbring your kid in Indian cultural groups. For eg; The temple committee etc have weekend Patshala for Indian kids and there after cultural programs and groups etc where they get to know about our culture. Secondly when they mingle with Indian families they observe our way of socialising. Once all these basics get into their head then its very easy to upbring ur child either in India or USA. Once the kid knows that certain things like dating, drinking , staying with friends after 17 etc etc is not allowed in our culture then things fall in place automatically. Ensure that the do's n dont's are instilled up at home from time to time but not to the extent of pressurising them or with persistency. Allow all this to be observed in other Indian friend circle etc which they will see and know that its true and not allowed in our society. They should know that all these dating etc things are not ok for me but its fine with US culture. Once they gets this into their head trust me they will always be within the guidelines respecting elders closely bonded to parents as desired by you. Try to be part of Asian groups so that our family values are alive and kids upbringing gets influenced drastically. Apart from this u will have to have alot of patience and tact to smartly drill all these into ur daughters mind. You might have to be very watchful without their knowledge becoz teenage is a very senitive and crucial phase for both parents and the kids.

    Good Luck...and Happy Parenting

    Regards
    Dyana
     
  6. Macadamia

    Macadamia Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Dyana!

    First of all I must applaud you for sprouting such nonsense with obvious flair. But then again, maybe I'll give you the benefit of doubt. Mybe, your problem is lack of information and a certain narrow mindedness.

    When you tell us to move with Indians are you saying that we're the BEST race in the world? When you say Indian culture are you talking about our culture which insists that wives have to stay in the kitched, catering to their menfolk and that women must be seen and not heard? Are you saying that its not true that girls are being raped by the dozen in Delhi? Or perhaps you are saying that girls wear sarees to pubs in B'lore. Are you aware that Kerala has the highest divorce rate? Andra is know for dowry harassment? That Tamil Nadu and Calcutta have the worst ragging systems in colleges? That the plight of villagers in Gujarath has to be seen to be believed? Is that what you're turning a convenient blind eye to?

    Lady, grow up! Or even if you don't wish to evolve, please don't poison others.

    No matter what you bring up your children, be it Bihar or Boston, EVERYTHING rests in the hands of the PARENTS. Be a friend to your child and your child will automatically start confiding in you. Respect your child's uniqueness and he/she will respect you, love your child unconditionally and she/he will learn to love, be honest and your child will follow your footsteps. Teach your child how to be generous, kind and fair. Teach your child the importance of integrity. And whe you do, you'll see how your child blooms into a confident, well adjusted adult who love, respects and obeys you.

    Is it stupid to categorise people and say that children brought up in India are better. they are not. Youngsters date openly here; they do it secretly in India. Because things are very transparent here you become aware of it more easily. Just because things are done in secrecy in India, it doesn't mean that is doesn't exist.

    Grow up people. Open your eyes. At least let the next generation grow up without constraints. Don't impose your inhibitions on your kids. Fear for their future is natural, but don;t let that fear hinder their emotional progress. Just be their very best friend.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2008
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  7. knowmore

    knowmore New IL'ite

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    THANKS!! Ladies for all your replies.
    I agree with you Dyana to a certain extent like instilling Indian culture in kids. But as Macademia said which I agree to 100% is here in the US everything is transparent but these same things like teenage drinking,dating are also in India but done in the dark.
    We can bring up our kids as good,responsible adults anywhere on the globe or amidst any culture.

    Maybe my nostalgia makes me come up with such questions.
    Thanks again for replying.

    Knowmore
     
  8. Venonimiss

    Venonimiss Bronze IL'ite

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    Wow nice discussion! I am a 31 yr old, living in US for past 10 years. I met my husband here (he is from same city, same school as I am - back home in India, but we have never met there!!). We have a two year old. We think of this often. It is our personal choice that we stay here in US, in spite of all the hard work we need to do every day with our kid to give her a proper up bringing, society, education, culture etc.

    This is what I think...
    Bringing up Children - you need a society. You need people other than you where your children can look to, talk to, learn from. In India we live with close knit families, relationships, neighbors and friends, who are not that formal. That is a chance for a child to expand his horizons, out look, to be bold, out spoken, cared for and to understand way of society & life. We miss our daughter playing with her grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We miss the festivals, the food, the experiences etc.

    Saying all that, here is what I think of USA. India is not the same anymore. You get drugs & alcohol in High Schools way easier than here. Children are prone to abuse more there. The dating, the blunt sexuality of the movies, silly dances, the nightclubs etc!! Go closer and you will think that US is far better that that. Kids have more opportunities in US, They can pursue their hobbies easily here, and they can get into better education & better universities here. I agree that the math, the science is better in India, but it has far better foundation here. From here, your child can go places easily. From India, they can do the same thing too, but with such a competition and struggle, that parents would be succumb into it too. You can still have Indian culture with all the Indian people, activities, temples and cultural & spiritual programs, art schools, language schools etc here. If you look properly, you find a better India here, than back home.

    Again after saying that, I want to say one thing for India. Kids living in Indian cities may not get the perspective of India, but if you go to India once or twice in 3-4 years from here, you should make a point to go to the remote parts of India, Just to teach compassion, serving and volunteering to your kids. That will make their US living, Indian bringing up - complete. They will turn into gems.

    But sometime, people do not have much chance. May be you have aged parents who cannot travel and you want to be with them. May be something else, but you need to be in India. Even then, my last and final rule applies to everywhere.

    It is the hands of parents and their values that the children's lives depend. Children form their values, views, education, personalities, passions etc irrespective of where they live, just looking and following the parents. So, It is all up to you, what you mold them into. Place - It is just another thing in your control!

    Thanks.
     
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  9. sumok

    sumok New IL'ite

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    :hide:This is a nice thread. I am in deep dilemma on the same topic. My 7 year old is already so adament, answers back, crazy about computer games, and I am scared to death if we took a wrong decision. I visited India recently and everyone warned me to get back. I am dead worried.

    Can someone in the forum who has adult children, faced similar situations write please, with suggestions on how you solved. Please experiences count, I can write pages on my opinion, but when the rubber hits the road, the path seems closed..........please.......
     
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  10. bazique

    bazique New IL'ite

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    Dear Indecisive Parents,

    I'm a 26 year old Indian American, born and raised in the Midwest. I am sure that I will not be able to alleviate all of your concerns, but I'll do my best to give you a realistic idea of what you can expect here, while contrasting it with India now.

    First, some background. I'm Bengali, know a lot about our culture and values. I've also traveled to and lived in India for several months twice during the last couple years, so I know what it's like there, both in Delhi and Calcutta. I'm in graduate school.

    What you should know about India: India's not what you left behind, or perhaps ignored during your upbringing. Sex is out in the open, for better or worse. You may want to consider the fact that if you have a daughter in India, she will be subject to hell growing up over there. Contrast this with my sibling, who carries herself with dignity, knowing that she is equal to any guy.

    Kids in junior high and high school date both openly and discreetly. They experiment sexually. In many ways, Indian American kids (and this also depends on how they were raised or how secure they feel with their parents) are much more conservative than their Indian counterparts. For example, every single one of my close friends made it a point to not be sexually active until marriage, something that was a HUGE contrast in India. In India, sex happens, but people don't talk about it, probably because they end up being arranged married to a stranger, anyway, so they figure what the heck.

    Second, we Indian Americans grow up with a tremendous sense of what our parents think comprises Indian culture. Even though Vedic values are fringe and antiquated in the grand scheme of Hinduism, some of my peers have spent days planning conferences where they listened to speakers expound on esoteric topics such as "vedic math." My point is that Indian Americans are, in many ways, easier to influence with their parents' brand of Indian culture, than Indians in India, who see their culture becoming westernized all around them, and tend to accept them as better.

    Indian Americans, raised with American culture right in their face and their parents bemoaning its moral emptiness at home, remain relatively "innocent," at least until college and sometimes grad school, whereas the Indians in India are morally amok at an earlier age. A friend in India told me this past summer that everyone she knew had lost their virginity. And she was 21!

    I am not going to sugarcoat anything. As someone who has been through the entire experience, from wearing the thread at my own insistence and commitment, to losing that thread and belief in ritualistic hinduism, to rediscovering hinduism's intellectual strains and schools of agnosticism, to getting to know other Indian Americans with different worldviews, philosophies, and moral codes, I do say that we're pretty awesome. And we turned out all right, contrary to what our parents might have worried about.

    If you want to see the truth of what i say, go to Sepia Mutiny, one of my favorite sites. Indian Americans curious about...India! I'm sure you'll be impressed, if not a little relieved.

    Some other things: I know and love my grandparents, and consider my uncle and aunt almost as close as my parents. Every couple years, my parents took me to India or brought a relative if they could. We also visited relatives in the United States or Canada, when possible.

    Honestly, and you might find this peculiar, but I've thought of living in India, and I wouldn't ever be able to justify to my kids, especially if I had a daughter, why exactly I was there. Whatever qualms you have about the moral decline of American culture, at least you don't get groped on the bus.
     
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