“Do in Rome as Rome does”
Most Immigrant family left their home country in search of a better way of life for their children. You could say that the parents sacrificed their well built-up present for a better future for their children. They stress that education is the step up and a way to assimilate into the new society. For immigrants, education is critical to success in new country.
It is tough for new immigrants on surviving and thriving in the new country with all the issues on employment, housing, and family support. For kids in immigrant family, in order to succeed in their schools, they have a lot of challenge including the needs to master English in a very short period, to be proficient in content areas, to develop cultural competence in the new country, etc.
Improve English proficiency
It is one of the most important issues for parents and kids in immigrant family to live in the U.S.
Here in the U.S. ESL (English as the Second Language) program is used to help immigrants transition successfully across formal and informal educational options. After kids attending school they are arranged into different English Language classes by their different English levels. ESL programs in Community center and adult schools help parents to learn and improve English free of charge.
There are some schools, which provide bilingual classes, for example some schools have math class in which teachers use Chinese language besides they have math class in English language. For high school students, they just arrived in the new country and face college entrance exam soon such as SAT, this kind of options are really helpful for them.
Deal with cultural difference
Immigrant parents and children have cross cultural experience and or education. How to handle cultural differences, even cultural conflict is very tough for both of them. Usually most parents and kids adjust themselves to adapt to the new culture, just like the old word says “Do in Rome as Rome does”.
Solve adjustment issues
I believe many of us are and will be figuring out how to fit in and adapt to different environments our whole lives. When we are new, when we do not know anyone, when the environment is unfamiliar, when everything just seems so different, that’s when we have to learn how to fit in.
In order to be able to adapt to the new country really quickly, parents and kids have to learn together.
Here are some suggestions for parents and kids in immigrants’ family.
- Be self confident
There are many immigrants came here, the U.S from various countries around the world with different skin color and different culture. As a new immigrant, get comfortable in your own skin, which is the key to finding your place in any social group.
- Be open minded and broad your view
When we see something from different perspective, we know sometime, there is not only one answer and the best answer may depend on different situation. Immigrants came from different country have different value passed by their parents, while after came to a new home, new environment, firstly have to open your eyes, learn with open mind, see and experience more and broad your view, which are crucial for adapting to the new country.
- Embrace change
Whenever wherever we are, we should have courage and believes to our new lives. Life is a series of chapters and it is up to yourself to write your own story. Immigrants came to the new country with hope to have better life than before, and are ready for change. In order to get familiar with the social change, involving in local community is a great way to learn lived experience. It is also an effective way to learn English language and new culture.
- Turn the pressure into motivation
In the same time, change means challenge and obstacles, too much difficulty, especially the threat to new immigrants’ survival sure leads to stressful situations. Be optimistic and diligent, enjoy hard working wisely, celebrate every little victory, by doing so, new immigrants can turn the pressure into motivation and increase self confidence towards better life.
- Create your fit
In order to adapt to the new country, immigrants need to find their own place where they feel comfortable. Adjustment of yourself may be needed sometimes to find a fit for you. It is perfectly acceptable to change yourself to fit in with different social groups as long as you know why. I think we learn and intrinsically know what is best for us, in terms of what kind of environment we want to fit into.
In order to adapt to the new country, parents and kids in Immigrant family need have courage, self confidence to overcome obstacles, need to be opening up to learn new culture, which can expand your horizons and discover new things opens doors for conversation and increases your chances of finding common ground, need to work hard to survive and thrive. While adapting to the new circumstances you should not forget what makes you unique, your advantages, which may be passed by your origin culture.