Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Indian Kids being brought up the American way!

Dear all,
I have been thinking a lot on some of these issues about kids growing up the American way. Please pour your opinions too.
My Son Aditya came to US when he was a 5 month baby, being a new mom, new place and all around me were strangers, even if he fell sick or starts crying for no reason I used to make calls to my mom and ask her what I should be doing. This way I have crossed a lot of hassles till now. But as many people say when kids grow up, problems too grow along with them. Here are some concerns which I would like to discuss with you all. Please share your ideas and experiences.


Artificial and commercial baby food: When Adi was 6 months old, he was feeding on formula milk and did not have enough nutrition. I wanted to start giving him some solid food. Now my question is how many of you believe in Gerber and other commercial products? I found them artificial and nothing can be compared to home made food like mashed dal rice, boiled apples, Idlis and Kanji (porridges) made of rice and other grains. Don’t you guys think that those ready-made foods make us lazy???

Loneliness and boredom: Staying at home, I didn’t feel it necessary for my son to go to a daycare. But until he starts going to school, how would he be interacting with other kids.
I felt that kids get pretty lonely after coming to US, especially during winters. Adi gets bored all day at home, just playing with the same old toys and watching the same old shows. I could take him to parks and library, but what more?
When kids grow up here they have a comparatively slow speech development compared to India.
He did not learn to speak until I visited India and when he saw a new world.
Lot of kids in the apartment we live just rushed into my house no matter what, with so much of enthusiasm and love for Adi.
But here hardly I see anyone interacting .The kid from my neighboring house came to play with Adi the other day. He told Adi “don’t touch me, I don’t like anyone touching me” I was so shocked to hear that!!
Then I learnt that it’s the school that teaches them to be that way.
How many of you have a good interacting community of kids for ages 0-3?? After that may be they start going to school.

Kids getting sick very often: This one is the most important. Kids losing resistance and getting sick very often.
Most of them start getting allergies no matter what season.
My Son often caught cold and usually they say cold and cough completes its cycle in a week or so but here?? It takes months together!! I start with Turmeric milk and then end with a doctor appointment and finally land on antibiotics.
After coming here not only kids but even we lose resistance.
While in India though we used to rough out in the sun, buses and auto rickshaws, we never fell sick like our kids, who fall sick even if I don’t vacuum the house for a week. They become so delicate.


Diapers, Diapers and Diapers!!! My Son has completed 3 and is potty trained but I still have to use diapers during night times and when we go out. I want to get rid of them but don’t know when!!! I heard my friend saying boys get rid of diapers a little late.


Sleeping along with Parents: I know that this is not an open topic to discuss but couldn’t stop myself. When we all were kids we never were separated from our parents even while sleeping. Cribs to toddler beds to separate rooms!! How much of you appreciate this. Kids start sleeping alone right from the time they are born.
I always love to sleep hugging my son. But after coming here he sleeps in a crib close to our bed all-alone. My husband wants it to be the American way. But I personally feel that it is not a great idea up till a certain age, as kids lose the basic love and attachment towards parents.

Explaining our Indian food: I have seen many parents convincing and explaining simple and basic dishes like idlis and puris to their kids at parties and gatherings. When I ask why, they say “ my kids love to eat only Mac & cheese, pizza or French fries etc…what does that mean?
When kids start their schooling here they start loving these food and parents have to convince them on having Indian food. How good is that??

Slow Education and learning: This question has been bothering me from a very long time. I had joined Adi in school at the month of September and then had to pull him out as he started falling sick regularly. I thought rejoining him in summer would be a good idea. While he went to school I came to know that the education here is pretty slow compared to India. They start teaching alphabets only at 1st grade. That is after age 5, which is a very long time. I felt that it will be too late then and started teaching him basics at home. Has anybody noted the way they hold the pens here? I am not offending anyone by saying this but felt that Indian education is much faster and better to give the kids a proper foundation.
What are your opinions? I was very happy to read about Asha’s Daughter doing so well at school. Wish I could take some tips from her on this.

If any of you have faced or come across these questions in your mind please let me know your suggestions, opinions and ideas.

33 comments:

Sandeepa said...

Sharmi
Since my daughter is only 3 I can share with you my limited knowledge :)

Last One First
Slow Education and learning
Compared to present day India Yes, but this system I find far better. And who said they teach Alphabets in 1st grade ? My daughter goes to a daycare/preschool. She is 3. They are done with Alphabet Recognition/Reading and number counting. Now they are being taught to trace alphabets and its already X that they are on to now.
However there are lot of other things done at school, like the cute projects, the play act, the puzzles which contrbute to an overall development

The education system here both in school and college is much different from mass Indian Schooling system. In fact when I went to school in indiain Kindergarten or 1 we did very little studies too. Its only now that there is so much pressure on kids and that too a lot by rote.

The pen holding I agree is awkward. But my husband taught my daughter to hold the pen our way at home and now she does that :)

Later I think the education depends a lot on the School District too. Asha would know about this. But I have seen that school districts matter at the Middle, High level

Dee said...

Hi Sharmi,
Very well put.
- I did not believe in the baby food either, but I had the luxury of my folks helping me out. I think it can be convinient for working moms and they have these organic versions too...if that helps :)
- I believe in co-sleeping and it is nothing to be embarrased about. Infact, I think it helps bonding with the baby quite a bit. I find it very important because I hardly spend 4 quality hrs with my son each day. I atleast get the satisfaction of cuddling him at nights..
- I do agree that kids get taught at their own pace here, but they also are allowed to grow up as individuals. Their originality and creativity is given much more importance. I think they can have the best of both worlds...I want to coach my kid at home (desi style) and let the school do its job too. A child's capacity is only as limited as you think of it to be..
- about the lonliness part .. I agree, socializing is just not comparable to India. Everything is structured, with playdates and parties. Not sure how to handle it or if it is even fair to compare it to India...waiting to see what the experienced moms have for this :)
-Dee

Sandeepa said...

About

Loneliness and Boredom

I agree Winter can be difficult. Its the mother who has to chaperone around. If you have a local YMCA or Gymboree or such, try the classe. But even then there is only so much you can do

Sandeepa said...

About
Diapers

You can get rid of them, No Problem. In my daughters school once you are 3 you HAVE to be potty trained and the teachers helped a lot in potty training my daughter

It was our laziness that we still used to let her be in her pull-ups at night. But now we got rid of that too

Sandeepa said...

About
Co-Sleeping

As I have already said my daughter DOES NOT SLEEP ALONE :) She sleeps right at the centre in our bed:) I only want her sleep time routine to be quicker that is every day I spend more than an hour to just make her sleep as she goes to bed early (mind you same bed as ours)

If she sleeps at my time, she sleeps on my arm snuggly-woogle and then it does not take so much time

Co-sleeping is fine. Don't even bother as many mommies have commented in the prev posts. Most of the Moms in this group I guess sleep with their toddlers so if you and your hubby want to go ahead and do it

Sharmi said...

Dear Sandu, We bought a king size bed just for one reason that Adi could sleep with us. But now only somtimes I pull him from the crib and make him sleep with me.
Besides I loved your ideas on education.

To make my son sleep my Hubby chants Mantras and shlokas in a lullaby way. this way he sleeps very fast and sound, just in 10 minutes.

Sandeepa said...

Oh, One thing I forgot to add

All pre-schools might not be very good. One of my friends daughter used to go to the pre-school at YMCA and they did not teach much there.

Check out the pre-schools in your area

Around NJ The KinderCare groups, The Kiddie Academey, The Goddard, Bright Horizons are supposed to be good. These are chains so go their website and check the schools. Also there are some Montessori schools which are good.

Sharmi said...

Sandu, he goes to montessori but they dont teach much. its always projects and playdough. he comes back so tired playing mostly in the slides.

Reena said...

Hi Sharmi, First a warm welcome. My daughter is 3 so my observation is based on that.

Artificial and commercial baby food: i have had no problems with gerber food and i don't think it made me lazy because i was busy with lots of things. my parents were here when M was born and my mom didn't ask me to concentrate on indian dals and discard gerber. she was fine with it and so was i and so was M:). i started giving M our regular indian food after 7th month that is when she had annaprasanna or choroonu (rice ceremony after which a child is supposed to eat rice). then i stopped gerber completely.


Loneliness and boredom: I agree with the boredom part in winter. In summer most of the kids here come out and M has friends with whom she plays in the evening. It is not daily but may be 2 or 3 times a week. Even in India if you are not with cousins and grow up far away from hometown you feel bored too. When I grew up I played with friends only on weekends as weekdays were always busy. Here I would say that we could put them into some activity. It depends on us to see what our kid is interested in.

Kids getting sick very often: Touchwood!! but that is one thing I am most blessed with. My daughter hardly ever fell sick. Even when she goes to India she had regular water and all food and she was fine. Her only problem is mosquito bites in India. Because she is allergic to the bite and her skin swells up. Kids getting sick is actually good in a way because it develops immunity. I know it is most difficult time for them as well as mommies when they get sick.

Diapers, Diapers and Diapers: Diapers do make potty training a bit difficult but here we have no other way. I have heard that boys do taka a bit more time to get potty trained. So hang in there. M was potty trained by 2 but it took another 5-6 months to take her off night-diapers completely. One day she asked me if she can go to bed without diaper and I thoughtt OK but told her she can't pee in the bed and to my surprise she didn't. I got up around 4 to take her to potty for peeing. From then she is completly potty trained. Hang in there. You are almost there.


Sleeping along with Parents: I already echoed my views on two posts by Ranjani and Sandeepa.

Explaining our Indian food: That is strange. I give her everything I mean all kind of foods. So I never had any problem with that. Those parents who dont give their kids Indian foods..hmm... well!!! i say it's their choice. Let us continue to give our kids all types of food and let them decide later what cuisine they want to stick to;):)

Slow Education and learning: I echo Sandeepa's thoughts on this. I like the way here how they tap a child's curiosity. They encourage how and why instead of mugging up. I have no clue why we have to stress on so much book knowledge for kids aged 2-5. I love the way they teach here and nowdays most schools in India too follow this system. It is also upto parents to know our child's potential and groom them that way. M is 3 and she knows all her alphabets, can count to 20, can count to 10 in spanish, knows nursery rhymes and all these was not taught but she picked up from our fun games, school and development dvds. Pencil holding is awkward:):):). I tried to tetach her but she still has a different style. I had a friend in India who used to write like this and when I asked her then she said well! this is more stylish:)):)). My stress with my daughter was more on etiquette. I wanted her to be polite and have good table manners which she has.

Sharmi, Your post was covered lots of topic and I am looking forward to read everyone's views on this.

Dee said...

: Sharmi..my husband chants shlokas to make my son sleep too..and my son loves it. It works better than books most of the time :)
-Dee

Kay said...

Dear Sharmi, there's no such thing as American way, considering that American culture is a stir-fried mish mash of all cultures.

Even here, LOT of people follow attachment parenting - co-sleeping being just one of the ways of AP.
Again, in India, LOT of children eat Farex and Cerelac right from 2 months. So, it's no really American way or Indian way; we just have figure out what 'we' want and find more information on that.

About food, well, my DD6mo has just been started on solids. Though homecooked food is the freshest, it means the cook being able to do that. I try; but if I can't I dont beat up myself. Those times, I just give her some organic cereals or jarred food. You can find more info about home made baby food at wholesomebabyfood.com.

Loneliness and boredom - winter sucks, ITA! but there must be some playgroups nearby where you can take him...or you can arrange playdates/sleepovers with a friend's child?

Sleeping with parents? not open for discussion? says who? just type in co-sleeping on google or read books by dr.sears on AP,you'll know more details about these.. believe me when I say, in a parenting forum that I belong (which has hardly any desis), majority of the parents co-sleep and dont believe in letting the baby to cry it out.

hope this helps!

Kay said...

A 'friend' whom I met when I was waiting at airport lounge, when we were waiting for our respective flights told this to me...

There's a group called musictogether.com where she found a class nearby and took her infant child...he enjoyed it very much and it helped 'her' too.

You might want to give it a try.

Asha said...

Oops! I am late!Sorry Sharmi!:)

Okay,let me be the "mature mom" here!;D
My daughter was born in England and I never had any guidance as such.I did give her bottled baby food until she is able to eat solids.Baby food is strictly controlled by FDA, well balanced for the babies,so it is okay to give them.You can also make Carrot and beans puree sometimes,but don't add too much salt.Other than that,you can make any food you like and feed the child.Either way,no problem!It's real food in bottled food btw!

Boredom: That is true to some extent here.Since we have play dates,it's hard to be like we did in India.But you can provide them with software or crayons and paper to keep them busy.Don't let him watch too much TV,they tend to be overactive when they watching!Library programmes are good,you are already doing that.Find a mom who has a kid same age as your's and make play dates.Older kids do not like to play with younger kids which is natural.

Asha said...

Third:My son was sick very often all thru elementary!!It's true they do get infected often.That helps them to develop a resistance to germs.Don't give him antibiotics too much.As my husband who is doctor says,let their body fight the germs as long as it's mild,go to the doctor only if you think it's getting worse.
Wash his hands as soon as comes home from preschool,they will teach him that at school anyway.You can not rally help him. Other than that Sharmi,they have to cope with it!

Diapers: He is out of it in the day time,that's good!You could spread a plastic sheet on bed and make him go to the bathroom before bedtime and let him go without diapers.He might do it in the bed at first,don't react but clean it up and ask him to tell you when he wants go pee.Lot of patience needed here.It's true that boys are slow in everything until certain age and then they zoom past girls!;D
Don't worry:)

Asha said...

Sleeping with parents:
is okay as long as it's okay with you!I know most Americans don't approve but we Indians have done it for centuries! Just enjoy.As Trupti says there is nothing more joyful than waking up to kisses of your kids!:)

Indian food:
My kids do not prefer to eat Indian food.It's true that they are used to school lunches and bland food outside.That doesn't mean that they hate Indian food.I do make a point to cook Indian at least 4times a week so they don't have a choice but to eat!:)
Still once they grow up,they will still choose to eat whatever they want and we can't help it.As long as they are eating healthy,don't let it bother you.

Lastly,
India has fast education but not necessarily good at all.Trisha's cousin is just 14 and he is in 10th grade!!Although he does well in school,can you imagine coping with Engi.or Med school when you are two yrs younger than everybody else!!
That's terrible.
Don't force him to learn all that,just let him learn on his own.Provide him with writing and reading materials and sit by him and ask what he wants to do ,give him ideas or let him come up with it!The more you TRY to teach him,the more they don't want to do it.So relax,in preschool,they will teach him age appropriate things and you will see how happy he will be!:))

Older kids in school are always taught to be aware of "good touches' and Bad touches' which is okay.It's not personal but that's what they are taught to protect themselves and sometimes,kids are just quirky,what can you do?:D

Ranjani said...

actually to each his own . whether you are in india or US or japan or china, you have to do what works best for your family . whether it comes to sleep , eating or education..every child is different. some are clingy , some dont cope up in school , some poor eaters..so u have to see what works for ur child & not do what another kid or mom is doing.Do whatever makes you and your child happy & healthy.

Maheswari said...

Sharmi,
Thanks to a well written post and as mom of 3 (almost) old boy, i could agree with most of the things.To make my opinion short, though i have gone thru all the above said problems myself, i tried to make good out of it.First about the bottled food,i used them only when we were travelling.Otherwise i gave him homemade food.About the Slow learning, IMHO everything depends upon the child and the parents.I taught him Alphabet Recognition,Numbers,shapes etc now itself.Yes, he will be little bored when he goes to pre school this year.But they have lot more to offer than just alphabets.
About boredom, that is defiently there..but we both switch places while playing with him.since i have been playing with all day long, he plays with his dad in the evening.I know that just won't solve the problem.I take him to the usual library,musuems,mall etc most of the days.During the winter, we usually go to all the indoor fun activities around the area.We all have a small play group with kids around his age.
Having said all these, still have some problems with diapers and co sleeping...:)

Asha said...

Hi Mahesh,good to see you:))
Diapers depends on the individual kid.Let him go without it and reward him when he uses the toilet.Some preschools don't accept kids in diapers,some do.I had a hard time with Tushar in potty training than Trisha!:D

Sleeping with kid is okay now,don't worry.On his third b'day,take him to the store and show the "big kids bed"(Toddler bed) and sheets with cartoons etc and buy one.Slowly shift him to that bed before the other kid comes along.Or else,you both will be sleeping with all the kids you have in future! Hum do ,Hamare do!!:D

Praba said...

Hi Sharmi -

Nice topic you've chosen. As a mother of two little girls - a five year old and a nine month old baby, I have been there and am still learning a lot with the second baby!! :-)

I see - loneliness/boredom and education as the two big long-term issues - the others - diapers, food, sleeping, kids getting sick - these are all stages or short-term issues, and are over by 4 or 5... I wouldn't worry at all about the short- term ones...

I want to address only the two big issues - loneliness/boredom and education...

I will get back on those two after putting my daughter to sleep - it's bedtime here!

Relax, and take it easy! That's my advice...(Although it's easier said than done!) the blog I am hoping should make us smarter and teach us how to relax with our lives and children better...

Asha, you are one Superydooper mom...What a cool, positive and relaxed mom you are! I am looking up to you for a lot of things - including the house by the beach!!! :-)

more later!! :-)

Praba said...

Also - On a very positive note, I have a suggestion - let's not use the term "american" way - I think there's nothing american really - as Kay mentioned - each family is unique, each culture is different, and we don't want to offend anyone by stereotyping or labeling..I hope I am not being preachy here...Just a thought! I want to be as open, and may be going forward, who knows we might have a cross-cultural/multi-cultural dialog going on in this blog....:-)

Sharmi said...

thank you every one!! I feel so happy and nice already!! I got so many ideas and suggestions. I cant express how good I feel reading all the ideas and experiences. I also feel great that any problems, so many wonderful people to give me shoulder in a very positive manner. thanks to Sandeepa and Asha for starting it all.

Dear Praba, by saying American way, I surely did not mean to offend anyone or their culture.If we say Desi style or Indian way of living, does it mean somebody is offending us? By saying American way for me ment the way and art of living. I did not any where mention that the way they live or their eating habits are wrong. So please dont take me wrong there.

Sandeepa said...

Asha,
That was a good one. And if happens to be Hum Do, Hamare Chaar, then bring in all, the King - Queen beds and have a party ;-)

Praba said...

Hi Sharmi -

I totally understood what you meant when you said, American way. I think you made a good point - we don't get offended if someone says Indian style/desi style.

Sorry to deviate - I think as immigrant parents, we want to portray our desi culture in a positive way. But, at the same time we also want to teach our kids to appreciate the cross-culture they are growing in. How do we provide an open environment where as parents we understand how to deal with issues on a day-to-day basis, as they grow, the issues will take different avatars - as Sharmi mentioned, "when kids grow up, problems too grow along with them" (dating - the number 1 long-term issue in all our minds???)
:-) Well, I see a lot of challenge for all of us in the way we raise our kids. I can take comfort from the fact that there are many before me who have done it. But does it mean I know the answers. Nope!!

Anyways, after a self-introduction(yup, i need to do that - i keep blabbering here as if everyone knows me - i am so new to the blogging world - really, just 5 months since i started blogging)
I hope to initiate a dialog in these topics of how our children view themselves in this society, and what can we do to make them feel good about their cultural and racial identity...How do you talk to them, how do they experience race, school related peer pressures etc. etc..My blog,saffrontree, is an attempt to encourage parents to read more books that portray kids like "ours" so they get comfortable with their racial identity early on, and at the same time introduce other books from other cultures so they understand each culture is unique and there are lot of positives to absorb in every culture.. I think going forward with the world becoming so flat (remember, thomas friedman?), these issues will be so important to discuss...

I will get back on Sharmi's education related and loneliness issues soon...I love the way the responses are so instant here...People are just totally into this blog, isn't it? Fun - thanks to Sandeepa and Asha..:-)

Meeta said...

Hi Sharmi!

Nice topic you brought up here. As I myself was an Indian child brought up away from India I am doing pretty much the exact same thing my parents did with me. My son is going to be 5 in August and he has never been to India. He was born here in Germany and the closest he gets to India is when we visit my parents in Dubai.

Sharmi, I think what you need to do is go with your inner gut feeling. And one very important thing is to trust Adi's instincts. This might sound strange how can I trust a 3 year olds instinct? You will see it is true. In many cases I have let Soeren guide me with his feelings and instincts and in the end I noticed that is was always the right decision. You have to be of course agile to the reactions of your child during these phases and pay attention to any specific changes.
Food: Although in Germany very special care is taken for commercial baby food and Organic baby food is widely available. I used this type on rare occasions. I mostly cooked for him using organic products. It is the best method in my opinion where ever you live. Today, his approach to food is more open than his peers. I cook food from all over the world and he eats with relish. I still use organic products for us at home when cooking.
Boredom:
Get yourself involved in groups like playgroups, kid's swimming, sport, music etc. We were involved in many such groups and still are part of music and sports today. Some of my dearest friends here I got to know from such groups. Please do not judge what a preschool/Kiga can offer a child by the one example. Soeren started Kiga (Kindergarten) at the age of 2 1/2 and he has developed in huge steps. The benefits are obvious. He is with children his own age. He developed a lot faster - talking, expressing himself and found his independence. It was also at the Kiga that helped us get Soeren potty trained at the age of 3! I believe the home is where a child learns the love and respect and outside (school etc) he learns how to communicate and become his own character. If this kid said "Don't touch me!" I think one should not necessarily look ONLY at the school but also at his home environment. Being an Indian I hug and kiss my son whenever I can. This is something so natural for him. I even kiss my friends on the cheek when I meet them. For Germans not a usual thing, but you know what? This has brought in so much affection in our group that even the hardest of the Germans are now soft LOL! Soeren sees this and reflects it to his own peers. That is the same thing Adi will see. At home a warm, affectionate environment which he will too give out to others around him.

Getting sick:
It's true that when kids go to preschool/kiga they tend to get sick more often. But not always. Soeren was hardly sick. But this is again just one example. In Germany there have been many researches about such things and the outcome of these researches conclude mostly to this that children who are sent earlier to Daycare etc. build up a stronger resistance to such minor things. Another factor we cannot forget and would be wrong to compare is today the environment is much more polluted than it was when we were growing up. This too plays a role for many of the more serious allergies.

Sleeping with parents:
This is a good one! Once again I will use my own experience as an example. Soeren slept with us in our bed and then later in his crib (still in our room) until he was about 10 months old. Then we moved him to his own room. Comparing - and this is the honest truth - the first 10 months were a little like hell for all three of us. Soeren slept uneasy, we were often awake. When we moved him I was amazed I thought it would be a hassle but it was not. He slept like a baby and for the first time trough the whole night and we too slept relaxed and through the night. I asked many of my friends and they confirmed that this was true. I do love my son, but at times as a mother I have to be a bit egoistic too. It took me a while to learn that in the end my son benefits from this. You see if I think about "me" every now and then - whatever it is - hobby, sleep etc. I am a more balanced person for my child. So, as we were all getting proper rest we were able to spend real quality time with each other. Today, there are nights that Soeren wants to sleep with us and we allow it. But then it is something special and we enjoy it more.
Food:
This is really something that comes from home at a very young age. It is not from the start of schooling that they learn this. I really have to differ here. If parents at home teach their kids how to eat properly and healthily they have these values built into them. Over at the Daily Tiffin we did an article Banning Junk Food Ads, which you might find interesting. Our entire environment feeds our children with several things - good and bad. It is up to us as parents to guide them and show them what is good and bad. At school they do get more involved with such things but should not be it up to us to show our kids that there are good options to a burger? Blaming it all on the school and others is often easy for those parents who close their eyes at home too.

Education:
I have to agree with Sandeepa here. Compared to India the European/American system is not as "tough" but I too prefer this system. I find that these systems offer much more value for our children to develop their personalities and characters. Attention is also paid to very important things like arts, music, languages and sports to name a few. This helps enormously in the child's development. It does not make a child dumb if at the age of three he cannot write the alphabet but it makes a man of 33 difficult to get along with if he cannot communicate and interact socially with his fellow workers. Soeren started learning the alphabet at the age of 3 1/2. Writing about 6 months ago and today he can write his name and other words. He can calculate easy calculations and I find this is just perfect. This is my personal opinion. We should allow our children enough time to be just kids. Play in the sand, in the playgrounds etc. Slowly but surely guide them towards reading writing etc. Make it playful and not a must. They will show more interest. What is the point of drilling a 3-5 year old when by the time they get to school they have lost all enthusiasm. Our children have so much time to be grown ups and in todays world often they have to be "grown up" a lot sooner than in our times.

Just a quick note. These are entirely my views and the options I have chosen for my child. Every parent acts and reacts differently. Each parent should find out what works for them and their families themselves.

I hope I was not too "strong" minded with any of my opinions.

Asha said...

HI Praba,I think you have some great advice too,sometimes better than me because you are all young mothers.My experiences are of many years but not necessarily current,so I do value what you and Sandeepa says very much.Since most of us are born and raised in India and immigrated,we all do think amazingly alike in "desi" and "pardesi" way!:))

Sandeepa, LOL @ hum do , hamare chaar! You need not a king size bed but whole room with mattress on the floor woth loads of pillows!;D
Wait a minute!!That sounds so good Sandeepa!!:)

Sandeepa said...

Hi Sharmi and all others,

Such an enthu group of Mommies we have here :)

Sharmi I agree with you on the term "Amriki" way, what you meant is something Foreign for us immigrants.
However since this is a forum if anyone feels the term hurts, let me know and we can rephrase the Post Title :)

Asha, for us its only temporary problems that we face. Schooling at Mid/High Level is something we can learn from you.

I was talking to a teacher the other day and she was saying though the curriculum is more or less same throughout say the State, the Better School Districs cover much more. At her school (she teaches High School) she says Physics is not even taught in High School. On the other hand you see all those kids winning the Intel contests and doing much more research than we could ever imagine at 10th grade

So guiding your child properly and not depending blindly on the school system is important too

Praba -- You should do a post now, high time:-) Your comments make up a post, they are very good

Meeta -- Even your comment from the perspective of someone who has experienced best of both worlds a post would be good

Asha said...

Sandeepa,every HS has Physics as a subject.
What happens here is you have to fulfill three sciences min. requirements for the whole HS that is Boilogy,Chemistry or Physics and a Environmental science unlike in India's PCMB or CBZS.
Kids usually choose one out two and they don't have to do both.Trisha did both in honors and AP Biology as well.It's choice of the student.You have so many choices in HS (public school), it's amazing.

To graduate HS,you need min of 4 English,3 sciences, 3 Social studies,2 same foreign language,4 Maths and Volunteer hrs ,Music and Sports + many optional subjects you can take.You can take regular,Honors and APs in every suject!I think HS is fab. in America!:))

Sandeepa said...

Asha
I forgot to say the teacher I am talking about she was telling about the school in an impoverished school district. Since most of the students there did not have a good grasp of Sciences, their school mostly skipped Physics :)
Something to do with "No Child Left Behind" -- so by hook or crook they had to make the kids pass high school

In Good schools you definitely have a wide choice, more competition and a better environment

swapna said...

Hi sharmi
U have given us a valid questions which every body faced or facing as they come to U.S or any other country from India..

My daughter is of 3 years old and she is not going to any preschool till now.May be in may or june i want to join her..I am only teaching her at home.i think u have read my post..

Now about the artificial foods....
I have never given any artificial foods as we are in India only when she is of months age..U can also avoid them as ur kid is of 3 now.We went to London when my daughter is of 1 and half year.There also i feed her in the same way.I can say the artificial food is no good for kids.(i don't know if they born in U.S or some other country)But my suggestion is avoid them as early as possible.

About the loneliness and boredom...I am also facing the same problem with my daughter.There are no people who can play with her.Everybody here are big kids.I am only friend of her who plays with her...:-D

About the allergies...
I think it is a common worry here.Don't possess ur kid to the sun.

About the diapers....
I have never kept the diapers for her in the house.Now also when we go for a long drive then only i am keeping her the diapers that too for emergency.:-)Not only here when we go out with the kids of age 3 we have to keep the diapers in India also.Right..

My daughter sleeps with us only..No separate bed and all.I don't know is this wring or right..but from her months age also i have never used a separate cart or a swing.

About the food as i already told my daughter likes Indian food.Some kids as they go to school here and see the other kids eating that burgers and what ever it is..they also like them.When in the home we make our kids learn our traditional food and all then they will also enjoy the taste of our aunthetic foods.what do u say..?

I have written a very long comment..isn't it..?Sorry...but i can't resist my thoughts ..

swapna said...

Hi ashaji
As u said "humdo hamarado"...My co-sis has two kids of 1 year gap.
They used to sleep with along with them till they came up to 4 years.As they are staying with our in-laws the kids will sleep with the grand parents.For us it is not like that...from the birth of my daughter i used to make her sleep next to me on the bed only..Till now the same thing is continuing.Sometimes i got worried because when she will sleep on her own in another bed room..But now what happened u know..we bought a flat at Bangolore ,India. ..when we see the pictures and all of our flat she asks for her bedroom.I don't know once we go to india what she will do?:-D
But i am somewhat thinking that as kids grow they also want their separate things in every matter.So there is nothing to worry about their sleeping with us..
what do u say?

MahaVishnu said...

A bit of a perspective from a mom with an 8 year old boy about the school and such. All my relatives thought I was being very "American" because I refused to force my son to read/write when he was four. However, I read to him extensively right from his infancy. Now, as a second grader he reads at a fifth-grade level. He still enjoys being read to, but is one of the well read kids in his school.
About the co-sleeping: I agree - to each his own. My son, as an infant, hated it when people stirred around when he was asleep. So we put him in a crib to get some much needed sleep. However when he became a toddler, he wanted to sleep between my husband and me and any attempts to put him in his own bed ended up being power struggles. So we just let him stay in our bed. Now that he is 8, it is not even a point of contention any more. He actually thinks it is amusing when we tell him tales of his babyhood shenanigans.
Personally, my toughest time with my son were when he was between the ages of 3 and 5. It is the 'my way or highway' age. He definitely thrived in a day care situation during those years. In your case, you might try to send him to a daycare for a couple of hours a day, twice a week. We, as parents, do not give these kids enough credit, but they respond really well to structure. By that, I do not mean occupying their every waking moment with activities, but as long as they know what's coming most kids are fine with it. Also, a little bit of boredom is good. They will learn to improvise.
About the American education system : I like it here. Learning the alphabet or the numbers is not the only important thing. Everyone, I am sure, will finally get around that. But it is a well-rounded education, in my opinion. My son's first grade class got frog eggs and studied the life-cycle of a frog from the egg -> tadpole -> frog stage first hand. This year, they are studying beetles the same way. Also, they learn responsibility, empathy, and accountability in school, skills which will serve their future selves well. Reading and Arithmatic - in the grand scheme of things - are small stuff. Don't sweat it.

Asha said...

Swapna,kids sleeping with us is okay as long as it doesn't bother us.My both kids slept with us until they are two and they chose to sleep in their own bed themselves.I didn't have any major problems any time with those two.Just relax and do waht feels right to you.You are moving to B'lore?! Hurray.Still blog from there right? Don't you stop!:)

MahaV! You are my kinda girl!:))
I agree with you regarding the schools and the way they teach.I love elementary and High school in US but middle school are not up to the par somehow.Kids are not little anymore or older like high schoolers,it'a little hard.But I love the way they are taught and encouraged to do their best without pushing.
As 8yr old's mom,I would love to hear from you again:)Thanks.

swapna said...

Hi ashaji
Actually we came here from bangoloore only.My hubby works for one company and came here thru that one.to finish one project here.After he finishes his work here we will return...

I will blog wherever i am..:-D