Often when families emigrate to a new country (Canada), they are faced with many challenges including but not limited to cultural, economic, social, climate and dietary differences. Coupled with these differences are added stresses faced by the children in the family who rarely participated in the decision to relocate to a new country. While parents struggle to provide essential daily necessities for the family, the children encounter adjustment challenges of their own within the education system, making friends and fitting in.
In Canada, parental involvement in the children education is paramount to their success. Since most families have sacrificed a lot to relocate to Canada, it is advisable that you invest time, energy and community resources into assisting your children in their transition to a new country, new schools and choosing positive friends.
Here are a few useful tips………….
It is very important to have regular DISCUSSIONS with your children. Yes, I said DISCUSSIONS, not talking to or talking at or telling to and definitely, not yelling at. The benefits of regular discussions are unlimited. Discussions allows you to find out what is happening in your children lives, what they are thinking about, who their friends are, how they are doing in school, and their likes and dislikes.
Discussions also creates family bonding opportunities where all members of the family can share their struggles and triumphs in the new country, at work and school. It’s an opportunity to find out who your children friends are. The parents are able to assess how well the children are adapting while the children are able to hear how hard their parents are working to provide for the family. This exercise promotes the importance of everybody’s contributions to the cohesiveness of the family unit.
ADVOCATE (for your children in School, Home & Community)
In Canada, it is not enough to have your children registered in schools and the teachers take care of everything else. To ease your children adjustment, it is recommended that parents and the child(ren) meet with the teachers (collectively or individually) at the begging of each school year to present your child(ren). At this meeting, you will share with the school your child(ren) strengths and temperaments; what your educational and behavioural expectations are, of the teachers, the school and your child(ren). Leave your phone number with the teachers for immediate contact if needed. The teachers appreciate proactive, involved parents and you are demonstrating to your child(ren) that you have his/her best interest easing the stress of a new school or a new school year.
Why do you meet with the teachers at the beginning of the school year…you asked? It is more productive to rectify potential problems at the start of the school year rather than waiting to hear about it at the Parent/Teacher meeting.
At home, both parents cannot be disciplinarians and neither can they both be too permissive. There ought to be times when the roles of each parents’ changes to afford flexibility and advocacy on behalf of the child. However, it is equally important for both parents to be seen as presenting a common front to the children.
In the community, encourage your children to participate in worthwhile causes, such as volunteering for the spring neighborhood clean-up, food drive, sports day, stampede breakfast and so on. This is where they’ll meet other kids with same values. You, the parents get to meet the other parents. This eases the transition for the children and it may provide networking opportunities for you the parents.
Above all, children generally want do well and want their parents to be proud of them.
Posted May 21, 2016