Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Potato wisdom for raising kids abroad

It's good to start at something with some kind of idea what the end result will be. You should have a picture in mind. A vision. A dream. When I planted potatoes in our garden in the Netherlands I hoped the result would be that we would eat home grown potatoes. Just the idea of it filled me with pride. I could see our family around our table eating something I had produced. Then again it was the first time I was planting potatoes so I just never quite know whether it would be successful. I went to a garden centre to buy the potatoes. Luckily they did have several brands to choose from. There was my first challenge: which brand should I pick? Let me be wise and ask for help. The shop assistant politely let me know that he had no knowledge of potatoes and potato brands. That in itself is not a great problem had he been able to refer me to someone who could have given me advice. There I was all alone with my unanswered question. I checked the internet on my cell phone hoping to find the answer, it took lots of time and in the end I still didn't know what to do. So I took a lucky guess and choose one of the brands.
My potato plants copyright DrieCulturen

It's a little like raising kids abroad. Most of us do it for the first time in our lives. We have a picture of the end result. We want to raise strong, independent, healthy, multicultural, mature adults. The only thing is you are never quite sure what the end result will be like. Will we be successful?

What could we do to help ourselves when preparing to raise kids abroad?
  1. Ask a professional and hope they know about third culture kids and can give good advice or that they can refer you to someone who can help you.
  2. Check the internet on information about third culture kids and about moving internationally with kids. There's a recent article in the Telegraph by Helen Maffini: Top tips for emigrating with children. Another helpful article is Top 10 ways to cope with any transition by Julia Simens. Libby Stephens has a list of third culture kid resources that are worth checking. Here's my list of websites and blogs that are worth having a look st.
  3. Read some good books on the topic.
  4. Keep the image of your end result in mind. Don't let go of that dream.

Here's my harvest. Just to let you know: we did eat potatoes and it felt so good! I want to cherish moments like this. It makes life exciting. It was worth starting on this new adventure. Do you have advice for parents preparing to raise kids abroad?

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