How to Stay Connected to Your Roots as an Expat Parent

How to Stay Connected to Your Roots as an Expat Parent

Do you ever find yourself wondering how your decision to move abroad hasn’t been the right one as you become concerned about losing yourself and your children amid the culture that doesn’t connect with your roots?

If so, one of the reasons could be due to your love for your origin and your dire need to be associated with the roots that gave you an identity. Even though your concern is valid, you would be happy to know that there are thousands of parents who have had such concerns and they have used a lot of different ways to deal with them. You’re not alone in this struggle!

If you are an expat parent who just wants their children to know their roots so they can pass them down to the next generation, then here are some ways you can do that:

Use Your Native Language

To construct a thought, there exists a language from which the words and expressions come forward to convey an idea. Poets, philosophers, and scientists have made significant contributions by using their native language as a tool.

In every country, the usage of its language is considered a symbol of patriotism. The practiced cultures and the norms of the society translate into words and become part of history. So while you wonder about the ways to stay connected to your roots, you can always start by bringing the usage of your native language into your household. Take responsibility to enhance the knowledge and fluency of your native language among your family so even they can take pride in their roots.

Being good at understanding your native language can help your family discover and gather all the information available about your roots. You can easily stay connected through Internet, books, movies, and music.

Use Art to Help Your Children Connect With Their Roots

For many centuries, artists have expressed themselves through poetry, music, literature, and movies. Not everyone can be a gifted artist, but almost everyone holds love for art in many forms. It is easier to induce the arts into our daily life. It is one of the most efficient ways to capture the whole family and connect to the roots.

So how do you go about doing it? Easy – compile a list of movies or songs from your home country. You can easily find them online these days. Watch or listen to them during family time. Once your children start to display a certain level of interest in the culture portrayed, they will feel attached to it. They would want to explore it more deeply. They will want to know more about their culture even when they’re living abroad.

Similarly, this also works in the case of literature in which not only does the reader get to learn the cultural expressions through fiction but they’re also able to gain knowledge about historical figures through non-fiction content. This approach may make way for your family to know your culture and to learn about your roots.

Celebrate Your Festivals

As societies have adopted multiple cultures, the people who live abroad as expats are aware of how openly they can celebrate their cultures. Depending on the country you have moved into, you can easily find places to celebrate the festivals of your culture with your family.

Mark out all the important dates and announce them to your family a few days before the celebration. Help your children with shopping for the event. Guide them about the historical significance of the day and let them ponder over how to make this day better each year.

Once your family starts growing with the event, they will identify with their roots. So go ahead and consider the plan for the festivals. Find ways for your children to share it with the family back in the home country.

Plan a Family Trip Back Home

Home is where the heart is – an expression that defines how you yearn to be back to the place you have always called home. When you become an expat parent, you have children who people wish to see back home. The loved ones like your children’s grandparents that long to see their grandchildren await the moment to welcome them.

The feeling of love between such relationships generates the connection that is required to stay connected. Therefore, planning vacations to your home country is one wise step to take when thinking about staying connected to your roots.

Plan the year, figure out the time you can utilize to go on vacations with your family. Once you and your family head out to explore the sights of your homeland, you will learn about the cultural heritage, the lifestyle, and the bondings between people. You will find yourselves immersed in the roots and feel affection towards it.

Blend in Your Culture

Staying connected to your roots doesn’t mean getting rid of all the other customs and cultures of the country you are residing in. To make sure your children are accustomed to your roots, you can simply blend yours with the foreign one. Let’s face it, you can’t really ignore the influence of the foreign culture easily. So why not go ahead and let it become a part of you?

How can you do it? It’s simple. Try to accept foreign customs and cultures which you consider to be similar to yours. Make boundaries only where you consider it to be the limit.

This way you won’t pressure your children as an expat parent into something they are reluctant to do and yet, at the same time, insert your own customs in a way that they would consider to be useful.

The Takeaway

You can use several of these ways to help your children remain connected to their roots. To work on these, you would need to see how these fit in the context of your family. Be creative and find reasonable ways through which you can accomplish it. You and your family will eventually be able to cope and connect with your roots.

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