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How has living in the USA affected your kids?

How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Old Feb 10th 2005, 4:58 pm
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Default How has living in the USA affected your kids?

For our kids (both born in England, one was 4 when we moved here 5 years ago, the other was 9):

The bad things...

* Having to cope with racist remarks at school, and the schools not taking it seriously because they are white.
* 4-year old (now 9) has lost her English accent I'm particularly sad about this, the only consolation is that the eldest child still has hers.
* Wanting 'instant gratification' and not treating the things they've got with respect or care, because it's such a cheap, throwaway society over here.
* Eating crap food for school dinners, because all they serve is pizza, burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.....fruitless for me to send them with packed lunches because there is no supervision and they just swop their healthy whole wheat sarnies & fruit for bits of their friends pizza, burgers & grilled cheese....or they just go hungry....or they borrow money from friends to buy the pizza, burgers or grilled cheese...
* Having to cope with kids giving them bibles for their birthday presents because the parents know we're not religious and feel a need to 'convert' our kids....
* Seeing them put their hand over their heart and say the Pledge of Alleigance when I have explained to them that it is perfectly acceptable for them to just stand in respect. Even worse is getting glared at by my 9-year old because I will just stand in respect, but won't say the Pledge.

The good things:

* Being so proud of my 14 year old when, after a class discussion on whether gay marriage should be allowed, she was the only child to put her hand up to vote 'Yes' (all the other kids had presumably been brainwashed & we are in 'Focus on the Family' territory).
* Managing to hang on to their manners and ask for things with a 'Please may I have' instead of an 'I want' (this particularly impresses restaurant servers).
* Not being embarrassed to be the only child celebrating St. Georges Day and taking English Flag cookies into school....(our direct counter to the school-wide celebrations for St. Patricks Day).
* Getting a new BRITISH Principal at our elementary school LOL!

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Old Feb 10th 2005, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

We've been here just over a year.

* Apple sauce? I thought it was an accompaniment to pork, no apparently it's a whoile meal for kids!

* Precocious kids, what an amazing attitude!

* Want, want, want, have, have, have! What happened to 'wait until xmas/bday/you've saved up?'

* Food additives.

* Idiot teachers unwilling to help in the adjustment period! Quote: Really it hadn't occured to me that the currency is different!!!!!! He's been here a month he should know the rules.

* playdates? What are they? I had to google it to find out.

* PTA moms. Real life Stepford Wives.

* Scouting! My son joined and loves it. Then I find out the policy of banning homosexuals. How the hell did they do that? Now I'm stuck as my son loves it.


On the plus side:

* the weather!

* the emphasis placed on sporting and outside activities! Makes kids in the UK look like couch potatoes.

* erm? that's it at the moment. Oh except for how positive people are here. Makes us all look like moaning minnies
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 5:56 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Originally Posted by CaliforniaBride
We've been here just over a year.

* Apple sauce? I thought it was an accompaniment to pork, no apparently it's a whoile meal for kids!

* Precocious kids, what an amazing attitude!

* Want, want, want, have, have, have! What happened to 'wait until xmas/bday/you've saved up?'

* Food additives.

* Idiot teachers unwilling to help in the adjustment period! Quote: Really it hadn't occured to me that the currency is different!!!!!! He's been here a month he should know the rules.

* playdates? What are they? I had to google it to find out.

* PTA moms. Real life Stepford Wives.

* Scouting! My son joined and loves it. Then I find out the policy of banning homosexuals. How the hell did they do that? Now I'm stuck as my son loves it.


On the plus side:

* the weather!

* the emphasis placed on sporting and outside activities! Makes kids in the UK look like couch potatoes.

* erm? that's it at the moment. Oh except for how positive people are here. Makes us all look like moaning minnies

Our kids are even more mental (but fit in better)

I get the impression my wife will give a long reply to this thread..
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Originally Posted by Eskimo
Our kids are even more mental (but fit in better)

I get the impression my wife will give a long reply to this thread..
Looking forward to her post!

ps Just noticed your signature, omsl. I'm assuming that's all you have to say on the subject! Fair enough.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

My kids were 15,12.5 and 10.5 yrs old when we arrived in March 2000.

My eldest daughter is now nearly 20, at university and detests the USA. Swings from an American accent to a Scottish one depending on company.

My middle child is 17.5 and after a few horrendous yrs, has finally settled down. However, the 7 months he spend in France (Nov 2002-May 2003), he counts as the best and probably the place he will eventually return to. Still clings to the scottish accent with a texas twang, the girls love it.

My youngest is now 15.5, sounds texan but isn't impressed by the church/moral teachings of school and doesn't say the POA but does stand as a mark of respect. Again has no intention of staying the USA but then again she is only 15.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Only been here since June 2004

Negatives:
  • My youngest, daughter of 7 has the accent already! AAArrgghhhh!! Can be quite irritating at times! lol
  • My 10-year-old was put forward for speech therapy, well he obviously didn’t talk like the other American kids, hey must be something wrong with him, right? No, perfectly normal just different accent people! He’s British and bloody well proud of it!!!!
  • My 13-year-old got a racist comment from a teacher. In a lesson called Goals, he was asked what were his Goals in life; my son gave his answer. Teacher then said in front of the whole class "Perhaps your goal should be to learn to speak English properly!" Oh how the teacher then laughed at his own remark. He wasn’t laughing when he was hauled into the Head’s office and was asked to apologize to my son. Arsehole!!!
  • Pressure on the kids for grade "A" is unbelievable. Sent one of my eldest son’s friends completely over the top. He got a gun and was gonna shoot his friend who happened to be sleeping over at his house for the night (bad choice). They managed to get the gun off of him but he fled, stole his sister car, which he then evidently crashed. Ok, this isn’t the norm, but it was pressures of society, school, family life etc that drove the kid over the edge. Very, very scary!
  • As for the school dinners, crap! Nuff said! lol
Positives:
  • Lots of sports and activities for the kids, they love it!!
  • People are great; they’ve made such good friends.
  • Great community we live in.
  • Beautiful summers, snow in the winter, but most days we have sunshine.
  • Hardly hear any swearing and no fights in the streets.
  • School bus picks them up and brings them home, lovely! lol
  • Kids are happy here!!!! That’s the most important thing in my opinion.
  • As for the Pledge, well when in Rome and all that! lol
I want my kids to be proud of who they are and where they come from. Important not to forget your roots! But by the same token I want them to fit in and be just an ordinary kid enjoying life!

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Old Feb 10th 2005, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

[My eldest daughter (18) chose to stay in the UK. My other daughter (15) came along, and we have lived here now for 15 months.
Positives:-
* She is a bright girl, but in her London secondary school, clever was not cool, so she dumbed down. Here it is applauded and encouraged.
* Everyone knows everyone else at school because it is much smaller than the huge, 10-form entry secondary school she was at before. This is positive because you can't get lost in the cracks.
* Encouragement to join in sports. Unfortunately she isn't very sporty, but she attends all the school games to support them. In fact the whole town knows the scores of all the school games - very different to the UK!
* Closer-knit community. Could be because we lived in London and now live in a small town, but everyone knows everyone.
* You can drive younger here, and everyone seems to. (she says this is a positive!) In the UK we didn't know many teenagers with cars, but here most seem to have them. What I want to know is, how do the parents a) afford cars for all their teens, and b) afford the insurance??

Negatives* My daughter used to go out with just her friends, on buses/trains all over the place. Yes, there was a risk but it made them more independent. Here the parents have to take them everywhere until they can drive. We have no public transport and you can't walk anywhere because there are no sidewalks.
* Again maybe because it's a small town, but there is very little for young people to do here. We used to complain about that in the UK too, but boy were we ever wrong! Here it is the cinema, or the fast food places to go. In the summer they hang out by the river. Other than that, they have to rent a movie and take it to a house where they haven't annoyed the parents too much yet.
* She misses UK food. Yes, I know we can buy things on the internet, and we do - but it's not the same as having what you know and love available in the supermarket aisles. She is gradually adapting but she still hates American chocolate!
* She misses her old friends and the family we left behind. I know that goes without saying, and yes, there is the phone and the internet, but it takes a lot of commitment to keep in touch that way, not to mention the 6-hour time difference and cost of phone calls.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 9:04 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Originally Posted by DebraJulia[*
My 13-year-old got a racist comment from a teacher. In a lesson called Goals, he was asked what were his Goals in life; my son gave his answer. Teacher then said in front of the whole class "Perhaps your goal should be to learn to speak English properly!" Oh how the teacher then laughed at his own remark. He wasn’t laughing when he was hauled into the Head’s office and was asked to apologize to my son. Arsehole!!!


[/size]

is that a racist comment????? I don't think so.....been here 20 yrs and people say that to me everyday I just got used to it.......scociety's ****ed in the head
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Originally Posted by psb182
is that a racist comment????? I don't think so.....been here 20 yrs and people say that to me everyday I just got used to it.......
Ooo! Who stepped on your bunion. Whatever you define it as it was wholly innapropriate for his teacher to say. Humiliating at least. I'm assuming (don't hold me to that) that you are an adult, well you have been here twenty years. DJ was talking about a teenage boy in a classroom situation. I'm sure you can deal with those comments, so can I, in fact he may have reacted differently had it been said by friends at lunchtime. But to be singled out and made the butt of a teacher's innapropriate joke must have been a horrible experience for a young boy. Much less one learning to adapt to a new country.

Originally Posted by psb182
scociety's ****ed in the head
Thanks for the illustration.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 9:49 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Originally Posted by psb182
is that a racist comment????? I don't think so.....been here 20 yrs and people say that to me everyday I just got used to it.......scociety's ****ed in the head
Probably not, but totally uncalled for and unprofessional of the teacher to do that to him. It's then an open invitation for everyone else to do it too.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Originally Posted by ladyofthelake
It's then an open invitation for everyone else to do it too.
And maybe how much racism is started. Someone who represents authority says something as moronic as that and then the fire is lit. In my opinion I wouldn't have been satisfied with just an apology.
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Old Feb 10th 2005, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Originally Posted by CaliforniaBride
* PTA moms. Real life Stepford Wives.
When we first arrived here we got hassled by the chair of the local PTA - we call her the PTA Nazi - cos we didn't volunteer for every crappy job to be done at the local elementary.

When I explained that I work quite long hours, and my wife has three small children to take care of during the day and so is quite busy enough, I just got a blank stare.

I swear that she didn't actually hear what I said because the concept that we wouldn't immediately give up our last spare moments to do stuff for the school was so completely alien her brain wouldn't process it...

Up until that point our phone had been ringing regularly with invites for playdates for the kids and for us to attend 'welcome to neighborhood' bbqs and other social occasions....

Afterwards, the calls stopped. Not ostracised, as such, but quite a few people have been a bit sniffy towards us...their loss
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Old Feb 11th 2005, 7:46 am
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Originally Posted by CaliforniaBride
Ooo! Who stepped on your bunion. Whatever you define it as it was wholly innapropriate for his teacher to say. Humiliating at least. I'm assuming (don't hold me to that) that you are an adult, well you have been here twenty years. DJ was talking about a teenage boy in a classroom situation. I'm sure you can deal with those comments, so can I, in fact he may have reacted differently had it been said by friends at lunchtime. But to be singled out and made the butt of a teacher's innapropriate joke must have been a horrible experience for a young boy. Much less one learning to adapt to a new country.



Thanks for the illustration.

I really have a way with words don't I.......didn't mean to sound that harsh but thats what came into my head
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Old Feb 11th 2005, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Negatives:
* Loss of English accent. My 16 year old girl "mostly" holds on to her accent (she came here at 13 so had more years of English behind her) but my 14 year old son sounds, well, just Texan!
* The bible belt thingy. Whilst we have learned to simply accept this mostly now, it was a bit of a problem at first. My son in particular was desperate to "fit in" with the church society, bible classes etc.

Positives:
* Social skills are drummed into kids here. Quiet, mumbling, introverted teenagers are dragged screaming and kicking out of their shells to become actual functioning members of society,able to actually communicate and hold their own in adult conversation. It's a cultural thing - kids are involved at all levels here not "parked in the car park with a packet of crisps and a lemonade"!
* "The welcome to the adult world but here are the rules" attitude. My daughter got her drivers license at 16 (the milli-second she was 16!), after taking drivers ed. and the test at 15. BUT, any truancy, alcohol or tobacco and it's bye-bye license, do not pass go, do not collect $200 etc. etc.
* No extreme pressure to grow up. Again taking my daughter's example. My brother in England said it like it is. She's "happy" to be 16 and not desperate to be 18 or 21. The rites of passage they go through here are so mapped out with no stigma on following them - the 4 clearly defined high school years, proms, initiation "ceremonies" (shaving boys heads as freshmen etc.) they have been practised for years and continue to be so. In England we seem to have a problem with these years, we put them in a cocoon at 14 and expect them to be adults at 18.

Basically the prospects and opportunities for my kids are the real reasons I'm here at times.

Andy.
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Old Feb 11th 2005, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: How has living in the USA affected your kids?

Originally Posted by psb182
is that a racist comment?????
lol .. well in my opinion yep it is racist .... definition of "racist: Discrimination or prejudice based on race". my son was discriminated against purely because of his accent!
Originally Posted by psb182
I don't think so.....been here 20 yrs and people say that to me everyday I just got used to it
So I would say that you've had racist comments for about 20 years then. :scared:

and Yes totally agree
Originally Posted by psb182
scociety's ****ed in the head
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