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Article: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

  1. CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    11 Comments by pepperlandgirl Published on 14 Jul 2009 11:48 PM
    What's it like to raise a kid abroad?

    I never really thought about what it means to grow up an American citizen in another country--or what it means to raise an American citizen in another country. I think CairoCarol did a pretty good job of showing how jarring it can be when you're on the unexpected side of a culture clash.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    Hey, I just wanted to say I just saw this and really enjoyed it! Thanks for writing this, CairoCarol.

  4. #3
    I've had better days, but I don't care! hatesfreedom's avatar
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    Yah that was really well done. Thanks Carol.

    Ah.. America.. we kill kings like its fucking cool.

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    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    That was an excellent article CairoCarol. I'm surprise the other 11 years olds don't know where SE Asia is. My daughter and her friends are only a year older and seem to more aware of at least general geography. Especially at a science camp.

    Do you see yourself returning to the US at some point or your son choosing to live here? It seems like the adjustment to a lack of servants would be tough.

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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    Quote Originally posted by What Exit?
    It seems like the adjustment to a lack of servants would be tough.
    Yeah, I might just have to move to Indonesia. I'm sick of having to peel my own grapes.

  7. #6
    Oliphaunt featherlou's avatar
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    Good article - I'm hoping for more instalments as sonny gets older - I can imagine he will have teen angst of a different variety.

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    Clueless but well-meaning Hatshepsut's avatar
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    Thanks for the kind comments, everyone.

    What Exit?, the comment I wrote about kids not knowing the location of SE Asia was characterizing college students that children of my friends have run into. It may well be that my son's fellow campers know where it is, since they are in a gifted kids program. I suspect they do, as the "Middle Easterners are all terrorists" comment came up during a game of Risk (which entails some knowlege of geography, doesn't it?). Anyway, good for your daughter and her friends if they are more knowledgeable.

    As to returning to the States, yes, I expect that we will come back in 15 years or so. Servants are indeed nice (I don't think I could have stood my child's infancy if I had not had a nanny to split childcare duties with!) but most years I spend a few weeks at our house in the US being responsible for all my own chores - it keeps me in practice so the shock won't be too great.

  9. #8
    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    Quote Originally posted by CairoCarol
    Thanks for the kind comments, everyone.

    What Exit?, the comment I wrote about kids not knowing the location of SE Asia was characterizing college students that children of my friends have run into. It may well be that my son's fellow campers know where it is, since they are in a gifted kids program. I suspect they do, as the "Middle Easterners are all terrorists" comment came up during a game of Risk (which entails some knowlege of geography, doesn't it?). Anyway, good for your daughter and her friends if they are more knowledgeable.

    As to returning to the States, yes, I expect that we will come back in 15 years or so. Servants are indeed nice (I don't think I could have stood my child's infancy if I had not had a nanny to split childcare duties with!) but most years I spend a few weeks at our house in the US being responsible for all my own chores - it keeps me in practice so the shock won't be too great.
    That makes more sense.

    But with the servant part, I meant more for your son. It sounds like he has only known life with servants. It makes me think of all those English books about the Brits in India with their staff and how hard adjusting back to England could be.

  10. #9
    Prehistoric Bitchslapper Sarahfeena's avatar
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    Quote Originally posted by CairoCarol
    Thanks for the kind comments, everyone.

    What Exit?, the comment I wrote about kids not knowing the location of SE Asia was characterizing college students
    When I was attending a community college in a Chicago suburb, a fellow student asked me where we were located on a map of Illinois!

  11. #10
    Clueless but well-meaning Hatshepsut's avatar
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    Quote Originally posted by What Exit?
    But with the servant part, I meant more for your son. It sounds like he has only known life with servants. It makes me think of all those English books about the Brits in India with their staff and how hard adjusting back to England could be.
    Oh, sure, now I see what you mean. This very issue came up in my "Ask the person who pays her maid $140/month" thread a while back. It has been a real struggle to make sure my son has a clue that beds don't make themselves, bathtubs need scrubbing, and so forth. We try to be sure he takes some responsibility, but I'm sure there will be a MAJOR adjustment for him someday. (I always remember what some celebrity - I think it was Carrie Fisher, who was raised in a privileged Hollywood setting - said about being shocked at finding hair in her sink after she moved out on her own and for the first time in her life didn't have staff cleaning up after her. She couldn't figure out where all that nasty crud was coming from!) It is practically impossible to restrain the staff from cleaning up after him, so probably the best we can do is make sure he understands that he *will* be required to adjust someday.

  12. #11
    Oliphaunt
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    That was a great article, Carol. I actually was a little sad that it was so short because it was so very interesting. I do hope you find time to write more on the subject of being an ex pat, or being a parent or both in the future. Both this and the Ask The... thread you started have been great.

    Pepperlandgirl, do you think you could put a link to the Ask The... thread on the fron page too? So people who read it and are interested have a place to go and read more.

  13. #12
    Porno Dealing Monster pepperlandgirl's avatar
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    Default Re: CairoCarol's Raising a Kid Abroad

    That is good thinking, NAF1138. I will do so immediately!
    I'm still swimming in harmony. I'm still dreaming of flight. I'm still lost in the waves night after night...

    Do you have an idea or an article you would like to see on the Electric Elephant? Email me at theelectricelephant(at)gmail.com!

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