The following article first appeared on The Verge.
Originally published April 13, 2018.
The idea that a child’s life should be shaped by its culture, rather than by its parents, is nothing new.
The idea is as old as the West.
And the notion that a school should be the first stop in the child’s journey to adulthood, rather then the last, is something that seems to have been embraced by every generation.
And as more and more families have children in the United States, the notion of parents teaching their children how to think, feel, and express their own culture is being embraced by parents of young children in many cases.
While parents might not be thrilled about that, the trend is definitely gaining traction.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that more than one-third of American parents now have a child in the U.S. They are more than twice as likely to have a daughter, and almost three-quarters of parents report that their daughter or son will be the next in line to learn.
And this is a trend that could be even more pronounced for families who choose to send their children to private schools.
In a study conducted last year by the New America Foundation, nearly one in three parents said that their child is the next generation of Americans who will be educated and trained by the United State’s education system.
In many cases, parents are taking the same position of parental choice that they have for decades: that their children will grow up to be good Americans, and they should be given the opportunity to attend a public school.
What parents can do to make sure their children’s education will not only serve them well but also be culturally relevant is to understand their children, and to have open conversations about their families.
It’s not that they shouldn’t have conversations.
That’s part of the learning process.
Parents need to be open about their expectations and understand their kids’ unique cultures and traditions.
But they also need to have discussions about what they think are the best paths for their children and why.
And parents should not let the parents’ politics dictate their decisions.
“We’re talking about a whole different generation that has been educated by the same country that was the birthplace of freedom, the birthplace and center of innovation, the land of opportunity,” says Daniela Hensley, director of the American Immigration Council’s Center for Immigration Studies.
In some cases, the schools may have an obligation to educate their students in ways that are culturally relevant to their cultural identities.
And they should.
But the fact that a parent doesn’t know what they’re talking, or why, shouldn’t dictate that their choice for a child is a bad one.
When your child does have a question, ask him or her directly.
“When you have a kid who is a first-generation immigrant, they’re a first generation kid,” Hens, who grew up in the Bay Area, says.
“They have this really complicated relationship with their family and with the culture that they grew up with.
So what can you do for them in that context?
If they can’t have that conversation, then what’s the point?”
That’s where educating parents comes in.
Many of them have an interest in their children having a strong, positive, and culturally-relevant education, and so the best way to engage them in those conversations is to start by educating parents.
That means talking with them about what you’d like to hear them tell their kids when they ask.
If they’re really struggling with that, then you can ask about it in a way that’s less personal and more focused on their goals.
And if they can articulate why they’re asking that question, then it may be worth trying to find out if there’s a way to connect the dots between their desire to learn and their parents’ priorities.
“There’s a lot of research that suggests that parents tend to give their kids things like the first-world problems that they’re struggling with, and then they’re like, ‘Well, you know, I’m going to go out there and do these things,'” says Hens.
“I think parents want to give a kid these opportunities to be successful, to be educated, and that’s really the key to a positive experience for the child.”
And for parents who are really trying to help their kids succeed, that can be a powerful tool to give them a sense of direction and hope that their choices will have the desired effect.
“You have to have hope,” says Hins.
“That’s the key.”
The American Immigration Alliance has compiled a list of suggestions for parents of children in immigrant families that may be in need of better academic support and instruction, including:Getting support from parents.
The American Immigration Coalition also has a page on the site dedicated to getting support for immigrant parents.
“The American Migration Alliance does a great job of educating families about their rights, and about what the law says they can do,” says Anne Marie