How Do You Raise a 2nd Generation Immigrant?

Once in awhile someone will ask me the question, “What do you remember about Philippines?”

“Not as much as I used to,” I would answer. I suppose that happens naturally with age and time.

I do remember walking from my grandparents’ house to the beach where the sand would get so hot that it burned my feet. I remember the big fiestas with enough food to feed the entire neighborhood. I remember running around the bakery owned by my great grandparents. These are a few of the memories I brought with me when I moved to Canada when i was eight.

I still understand the language and try to speak Tagalog in my broken way. I’ve visited Philippines twice and reconnected with family who still live there. Thanks to email and social media, I still feel a connection to the place where I was born and the people who were a big part of me.

When I think about the connections I still have, I shift my focus to my daughter. She’ll be three years old in a few months and now that she’s getting older, I wonder about the connections she will have with Philippines. What will she think? Will Philippines be just a string of islands on a map? Will it mean anything to her at all?

Or will news and media reports of kidnappings, corruption and brash violent politicians shape her idea of Philippines? I hope not. I would be a terrible parent if I allowed that to happen.

As a first generation immigrant raising a second generation immigrant, this is something that I think about. Discipline, motivation and how do you raise a second generation immigrant?

This space usually addresses the problem by presenting a solution. I don’t have the answers. I have some ideas, but I want to know what you think. Let’s start a discussion and see what we can come up with.

Send your ideas, links to articles, book recommendations, infographs, even the doodles you made on restaurant napkins. This is a topic that I’m passionate about and I want to gather as much information as I can.

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