Parenting in America: A guide for refugee and immigrant parents

Parenting in America: A guide for refugee and immigrant parents

Are you a refugee or immigrant parent in America? Learn from other refugee and immigrant parents about parenting in America.

In many cultures, the mother and the older daughters are responsible for the chores inside the house and boys help their father on the farm and with outdoor activities, but life dynamics are little different in the US.

In the US, both the mother and the father often work long hours outside the home to provide for the family and things around the house can pile up quickly as kids are left with limited supervision, waiting for their mother to return from work to cook and clean…… But wait! You can do something about it, and it is not really fair that one person takes on the burdens of the whole family.

Each child is different. But in general, kids can accomplish many chores under supervision. Here are some tips on how productively engage your kids:

  • Engage your kids:  Speak up about needing your kids’ assistance. Kids want you to know that they appreciate your help and their contribution to the family is appreciated. I recall having a relative’s son, 9, at my house and how he appreciated me asking him for help with chores because his parents never asked to help at their home.   
  • Coach your kids: Lead by example, it is simple – your actions speak louder than words to your kids. Take the time to show your kids how to do the task by doing it with them and make it a fun activity for the younger kids.
  • Be consistent:  Make a chart or a list of chores that each child is responsible for and hold them accountable; look online for examples of age-appropriate chores. Being consistent and avoid showing signs of frustration is a key in the learning process.   
  • Have a realistic expectation:  Please don’t show frustration or anger when things are not perfect.  No one is perfect, but practice makes perfect. Show them several times, and explain to them in a clear and simple manner how to complete the task successfully.
  • Thank your kids: Show them that you appreciate their contribution and how much it matters to you that they help the family unit. As humans, we love and thrive on praise and acknowledgment.
  • Rotate the tasks: Allow the kids to be involved in the planning process, and rotate the difficult chores between the kids to avoid unhappy feelings. Engaging the kids will likely to result in less resistance to the tasks and better outcomes.    
  • Teach them to be responsible: Kids should learn to help from a young age, and never expect a financial reward for doing their part within the family unit.   

As a mother and a father ask yourselves, “What are the age-appropriate chores that I can teach my kids to prepare them for the future?” Simple, but yet fundamental, chores can make a huge difference.  

The kids can learn to be responsible while learning new skills. Your kids are capable of age-appropriate chores if you invest the time to teach them, and after all, you are preparing caring and responsible men and women of the future.

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