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May 12 19, 11:27 am

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Best of both worlds: Filipino moms share tips on nurturing kids with mixed cultures

by | Feature, Global, Lifestyle

May. 12, 19 | 11:27 am

More and more Filipino children are being raised in what’s popularly known these days as ‘Third Culture Kids’ – born to two different nationalities in a totally different country. The Filipino Times spoke to two Filipinos moms who continue to manage to meet halfway with their non-Filipino husbands in the phase of their kids growing up in an unfamiliar environment compared to how they were brought up when they were kids.

Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi together with her daughter

Fusing cultures together

Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi is currently raising her kids together with her Emirati husband and advised Filipino moms the importance of being flexible and diversified. “You have to teach and explain to your children the culture of Filipinos and at the same time you have to bring them up in an Emirati way. There is a difference how my parents have brought me up and how I am nurturing and growing them. It is a challenge because you must compromise on certain issues such as the way they respond whenever you correct them. There was a time my son was bullied by his classmate and did not want to go to school. I did a lot of explaining and positively advised him how he shall deal with it. On the other hand, my children are achievers and grew up with a big heart and open-handedness,” shares Al Mahdi.

Zeena Zalamea Turner together with her husband and kids

On a different spectrum, Zeena Zalamea Turner, who together with her British husband is guiding her kids grow, notices that there are striking differences when it comes their point-of-view as parents – but on important matters, they find a healthy compromise. “For example, he is absolutely against piercing our daughter’s ears while she’s young. I thought he was being ridiculous but actually in the UK it is considered tacky. Where I’m from, it’s just the done thing! But with important things that affect their upbringing and behaviour, we compromise. We do argue but recognize that ultimately, the best thing to do is take the greatest aspects of each culture, so the kids can enjoy the best of both worlds. Everybody wins!” said Turner.

Patience, understanding, and a sense of humor

However, Al Mahdi also noted that if there’s something similar to how they were raised, it’s the value of understanding and being more patient with your children: “In this generation, mothers must be patient enough listening and understanding to make them be understood by their children. Mothers should be storytellers. Mother must do their best to fill up the culture gaps inside and outside home.”

Turner adds that if there’s a trait all moms should have, it’s having that sense of humor to help them survive motherhood with all the challenges it has to offer: “I think all moms must have the patience and sense of humor to survive motherhood. It’s physically, financially and mentally challenging! The best thing to do when you’re sleep deprived, reeking of baby puke and enjoying zero alone time is joke about it and hopefully other moms can relate and all of you can have a giggle!”

 

 

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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