{Weekly Writing Challenge} Parenting as a Cliffhanger…

When being called “Incredibly Good” is really not good for children?

Great Wednesday, although it began with a not-so-welcoming weather in La Paz – the rainy season has arrived, and flooded streets displaying the hectic driving behavior are definitely not the best place to be!

Back to work, as expected, and having the opportunity to read the paper before the work day starts is key! The Washington Post column on ‘Parenting’ called my attention with an article on ‘Stop heaping praise on your kids’, by Amy Joyce, really brought some thoughts up, as well as, a few questions and concerns.

Thoughts on Parenting: ‘Metrics’ for Children’s Summer Vacation – Academics or Fun?

It’s definitely hard to keep a balance between these two options: ‘has your child spent much time on academics this summer, or has he/she went out to play, chasing fireflies, collecting ‘knee scratches’ and minor wounds while attempting to bike with no training wheels?’ 😮

Maybe, like many parents out there, we’re ‘programmed to feel guilty‘ about not having our children work hard on their academics, taking advantage of the summer break; and instead, we’re fighting that.

Contact

Let’s work together! For more information on how we can work together through guest posts, TCK parenting challenges & stories, saferlifestyle tips, sponsorships, collaborations, and partnerships, please e-mail: rsnlima@yahoo.com or click here switch to safer! thank you and take care, Raquel

Experiencing unpaired joy during the Rio2016 Paralympic Games

  Closing the loop on the wonderful experience this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games have brought to us. I’ve already shared here our family’s perception and personal experiences during the Rio2016 Olympic Games. Have also introduced the curious way the Paralympic Torch would be lit, by ‘human/social media heat’.   During the last weekend of the … Continue reading “Experiencing unpaired joy during the Rio2016 Paralympic Games”

Thoughts on being a better – more effective? – parent…

Well, does it really exist? Is there a place in the ‘Matrix’, offering parents the comfort they so-desperately seek, when it comes to the betterment of their children? In the endless search for answers, and like any other parent [of multiple children, in my case], any free time my weekend is able to provide, is … Continue reading “Thoughts on being a better – more effective? – parent…”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant

Exercising our best parenting pride – snapshots of a regular Saturday morning, running between kids sports activities… our jubilant attempt to raise healthy children.  We’re satisfied, proud, and exhausted…. until next Saturday!😉 http://wordpress.com/weekly-photo-challenge/jubilant

A great Washington Post Read: ‘A tale of two temperaments: Same Parents, Different Kids’

This morning, I stumbled upon this short op-piece from the Washington Post. Easy, quick, enjoyable read – and it represents exactly what I sometimes feel regarding raising our 3 children: they all came from the very same set of parents, we’ve offered them the same opportunities, require the same level of respect and responsibility [okay, … Continue reading “A great Washington Post Read: ‘A tale of two temperaments: Same Parents, Different Kids’”

“Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time” Book Review by Brigid Schulte

A couple of weeks back, during my ‘usual morning routine at work’,  I stumbled upon a book review published on the Washington Post, under the ‘Parenting’ section, and found it so clear, so engaging, that I felt like ordering the book right then! The review was written by Jennifer Howard, and today I received the ‘okay’ from the … Continue reading ““Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time” Book Review by Brigid Schulte”

[Photography] 65 ways of Sucre, Bolivia.

2013 was ending, and our traveling family was in deep need of a quick trip before the new year rang in… it had to be to a kid-friendly place, not too far from our home, La Paz, and yet, a place that offered great sights, tons of history, tales and stories to write home about… We were looking for a visiting site that wouldn’t break our end-of-the-year budget [between the Christmas holidays and the New Year’s!].

We found it – Bolivia’s historical capital, the [sweet!] city of Sucre, whose name, coincidently means ‘sugar’, in French [completely unrelated to this blogpost, but a nice send-back to my high school French lessons!] Again, nothing to do with our trip, so, forgetting now my long-lost French lessons, and back to our reality – family life, parenting & traveling!

“Un café con leche, por favor…”

Like many parents, I’m silently watching my children grow. And I say ‘silently’ because I wanna witness the process in its fullest, without interfering or attempting to change its course.

My oldest child, and the only boy of the 3, just turned 8 years old. Even though my secret wishes still perceive him as ‘my baby’, he’s growing to be a clever and compassionate young person.

I remain discreet, though, and again, silent, watching from behind the scenes the growth and maturing processes unveil themselves right in front of my motherly eyes…

The little voices in my head and I, discussing an article on ‘Working Mothers’…

As I usually do, I try to [jump]start my [work] day catching up with the news. My routine begins with a brief read through the Washington Post and a couple of coffee. Since it was Monday, I was a bit delayed with my start. After going over the unsettling headlines on the very sad events in DC [a metro stop from our house, now rented] and, as a parent, could not stop thinking about the 12 year old Florida girl, victim of cyber-bullying…

Two stories that hit really close to home, and make us reconsider the world we’re raising our children into…

I decided to move on, and hopped over to the paper’s Parenting section, another favorite of mine.

Thoughts on ‘Let Teachers Do Their Jobs.’

Obviously, our children’s education should not rely solely on what he/she are receiving during the school hours – it goes way beyond the school walls, and it’s our [parental] responsibility to ensure their success and well-being are the utmost goal. Parents should be unconditionally involved in a child’s education. As Tracy Grant well pointed out, ‘no one will ever be a better advocate for your child than you’. But being supportive to your child does not mean one needs to act/react as if the child didn’t have means to do so. As the child ages, he/she has the critical duty to advocate for him/herself. It’s an integral part of learning how to live the ‘real life’ in the ‘real world’, surrounded by ‘real people’, facing real challenges and difficulties.

“Pay no attention to the woman behind the children…”

‘Who’s that woman?’

And why is she always giving orders? Acting like she’s some sort of ‘commander’ for a civilian army of three little children [and a husband!]?

‘Who’s that woman behind the growing children? ‘

The one trying her best not to fail, trying her hardest to be up to any and all tasks, excelling on her parenting skills, in the hope that other parents would look up to her as a role model?

‘Who’s the woman who lets herself be kept backstage, silently watching life play its theatrical acts, desperately witnessing her heart beat outside her body, every time one of her children crosses the house door and heads out to the world?’

School is back: Creating the proper study environment?

This morning’s article on Parenting, from the Washington Post got me thinking…

And I’m thankful that Nicole Anzia [freelance writer; she can be reached at nicole@neatnik.org] took a stab at it: “Finding a space where your child can complete his or her homework without getting totally stressed out, or stressing you out, is difficult. Don’t be discouraged if the first place you choose isn’t perfect; this will be an ongoing and evolving process throughout your child’s life as a student. But having a space set up and creating a homework routine during the first week of school will help smooth the transition from summer’s hot, hazy days to fall’s hurried, homework days.”

{Updated} Raising Resilient Children.

This is a third post on my ‘random thoughts’ about bringing our children out [first one discussed multilingualism and its approach as parents; and the second one dealt with approaching diversity issues], especially when it comes to the heterogeneous society they [children] are about to face…. any moment from now… [find all interesting links to great discussions at the bottom of this post!]

For a child, especially the young ones, parents are their strongest link to the concepts of ‘reality’ and ‘normalcy’.
That said, I recently found from Expat Child, a fantastic site for inspirations for any parent out there, even if they’re not ‘serial expats’ like our family: [and my deepest appreciation to the site authors for letting me share this!]

Just another regular day in my life… Can you relate to it?

Kids driving me up the wall is actually, a source of inspiration…
Who’d have thought of that?

Just decided to express [using a simple comic strip] the way I usually feel – do you really believe I sometimes try to hide from my own kids???
That wouldn’t be something a Real Mom would do, right? 😮

More of my ‘random thoughts’ on parenting here… recently revisited… 😮

{Weekly Writing Challenge} Why do we, parents, do what we do? A few visual reasons…

Parenting isn’t an easy task. There aren’t many solutions out there for our ‘day-to-day challenges’. And yet, we all keep on going… And why? Many bloggers/parents may relate to these statements, and who knows, even add more to the pot! With that in mind, and a bit of inspiration provided by this week’s suggested writing challenge from The Daily Post [Image vs. Text], had the perfect scenario for a ‘pictorial explanation’ of, ‘why we do what we do’ for our children!

Embracing Diversity as an Expat: Raising Children in the Foreign Service.

This is a second post on my ‘random thoughts’ about bringing our children out, especially when it comes to the diverse society they [children] are about to face…. any moment from now…

The discussion on social diversity is not only part of our family’s daily life, but it also tailors the way we are raising our children, and the way we would like them to understand and perceive their surroundings. Life as an expat has shown me that we (parents) are the only ‘constant’ on our children’s lives. Childhood friends come and go, depending on their parent’s jobs. Schools change. Countries, cultures, music, social patterns and expected behaviors last as long as one’s post assignment does. For a child, especially the young ones, parents are their strongest link to the concepts of ‘reality’ and ‘normalcy’. Over time, children will learn who they are and what to do through these experiences – absorbing a sense of their routines, traditions, languages, cultures, and national or racial identities – at their own pace, creating their very particular ‘hybrid culture’, assuming their own identity, as unique social beings. We are diverse, we speak different languages in our household, we come from distinct cultural and/or religious backgrounds… and our children could not be any different from that narrative.

Comments and extra thoughts on being a multilingual parent…

I often talk about the challenges of parenting, especially considering the difficulties placed by language and culture, one of the many issues associated with moving to a different country, every couple of years. That said, I took a look back at the posts published in 2012, mainly on parenting & language, and found one that gave me a very positive feedback, working as a sort of a ‘discussion forum’, that I plan on exploring/expanding some time this year. [Another one of my New Year’s Resolutions… Like everyone else, I know there’ll be a great deal of ‘procrastination’ before I’ll be able to cross tasks off my 2013 to-do list!]

Oh, well, at least, I’m taking the time to revisit thoughts/facts/articles… it’s the first step for the beginning of a good research! 😮

Saying ‘Goodbye 2012’ in style. 80s Style!

Celebrating the arrival of 2013, and bidding farewell to a dear 2012… All with style – 80s style! Could there be a more fun way to do it? [A confession, thank you very much, Robert Smith, for not only making my high school/early College years bearable, but also for helping me endure my recent parenting … Continue reading “Saying ‘Goodbye 2012’ in style. 80s Style!”

A look back at 2012: why people came to this blog? At the end, we’re all stats junkies!

2012 will be over in a couple of days!

A very intense year, in many levels, scenarios… Our family moved several times throughout the year… we got to live in 3 different countries [Brazil, USA, Bolivia}, lived out of suitcases for a long time; kids had to say goodbye to their dear friends, and say ‘hello’ to the ones becoming their new friends and teachers, adjusting to a new school, new cultures, and now, we’re happily settled in Nuestra Señora de La Paz, capital of Bolivia…

Getting ready to look back at 2012, remembering the most popular post in 2011!

2012 is almost over! A very intense year, in many levels, scenarios… Our family moved several times throughout the year… we got to live in 3 different countries, and now, we’re happily settled in Nuestra Señora de La Paz, capital of Bolivia. Right now, looking back at 2012, and preparing the ‘retrospective’: popular posts, popular searches/forums… good discussions… got a lot done this year, when it came to blogging, sharing our experiences, challenges regarding parenting, multilingual living, cultural adjustments… work… expatriate and family daily life….

Before I get a chance to pull together the ‘highs and lows’ of 2012, I remembered last year, Wordpress came up with a great initiative for all bloggers and readers: the year in blogging… That said, I thought it could be a great way to get ready for this year’s review. Post write-up is both in English and Portuguese, since we were living in Brazil, at that time… Maybe, if I’m gutsy enough, I could try to prepare this year’s review post in English and Spanish (Bolivia’s official language)?? 😮

Random thoughts [and curiosity!] about the ‘Redskins Rule’…

I try not to talk or share opinions about politics here. For obvious reasons, I’d say, but also, because it could distract from the main idea of this blog. That’s not my goal. This blog’s been used as a forum for other expatriates, to share impressions, advice, comments about traveling, living overseas, challenges of raising … Continue reading “Random thoughts [and curiosity!] about the ‘Redskins Rule’…”

{(young kids) + (sleep deprivation) + (long working hours) = (when exactly did we sign for this?!!)}

There was a time I used to love Math…

Nowadays, I’m not so sure…

I’m still trying to figure out the Mathematics of “life with children”!

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who loved children, had a great time playing with other people’s kids, and believed she’d make a great mom, when the time came…

Well, this young girl got older, found her prince charming, and once again, they (so naïve!) thought:

“We’re gonna be parents! We’re gonna be the best ones! We love and cherish children! Our kids will be the best behaved ones, always clean, always loving and respectful”

And then, the family started growing: first we were, as some friends (already with 3 children) used to call us: “a couple with a child”. We had it easy! Once kid #1 was sound asleep, mommy and daddy could enjoy some quality time (and even some wine!) at the end of a long day of work.

Children in adult-oriented places: a collection of [random] thoughts!

I found this theme really interesting, and intriguing… almost poking on us, parents of our loving well-behaved little ones:

“Everyone loves kids, right? Right! Except when they don’t. This week, we’re particularly interested in what you think about kids in adult-oriented places. I think most of us can agree that it’s not a good idea to drag little Sally to a bar at 1AM, but what about a museum? A fancy restaurant?” [Michele M. from King of States].

at the museum
Well, as a parent of 3 little kids (oldest one just turned 7), moving every two years, due to family work requirements, having to adjust not only to a new country, as well as to new cultures, new languages, there’s yet the expectation that [shockingly!] my kids should also re-invent themselves and adjust/adapt to new social demands/requirements,

Updated: Thoughts on ‘what type of multilingual parent are you?’…

I’ve talked before about our family’s cultural settings – husband and wife coming from different (but not exclusive) cultures/languages, raising our 3 TCKs, all now 7 years of age, and under; as well as presented thoughts on the Creative Flow of a TCK. This past April, AFSA hosted a panel discussion on emotional resilience in third-culture kids (TCKs) with a particular focus on the Foreign Service experience, during the first week of April. Experts on the issue of TCKs are expected to discuss the issue, taking questions from the audience – too bad we´re a bit far from DC, but we´re looking forward to reading about the discussion. The main question under discussion will be why some kids adapt very well to life in the Foreign Service while others struggle [check the AFSA website for more information].

Photography: B&W dads for Brazilian Father’s Day

  In Brazil, Father’s Day is honored during the second Sunday of August, and it’s common to have the celebrations throughout the whole weekend, offering parents and children an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company at length. In honor of Brazilian Father’s Day, here are a few black and white images of the important fathers … Continue reading “Photography: B&W dads for Brazilian Father’s Day”

Day 625 in Brazil: More resources to entertain our children [and avoid going crazy!]

Being a parent/caretaker requires lots of diplomacy, negotiation, peacekeeping, policy implementation and strategy skills. That said, managing a household, its respective juvenile population and the consequent budgetary implications, is a… HUGE, EXPERIMENTAL and UNFORESEEN task! There is a never-ending need to keep kids and parents sane (as much as possible!). Family outings require loads of planning and logistics management – even if … Continue reading “Day 625 in Brazil: More resources to entertain our children [and avoid going crazy!]”

The Social Moms, the “influential moms network”, featured 3rdCultureChildren as blog of the week

“The SocialMoms Blog of the Week is 3rd Culture Children – where Raquel shares her love of travel and parenting.

Congratulations to 3rd Culture Children: the SocialMoms Blog of the Week! As someone who has done very little travel in my lifetime, I’m always fascinated by travel blogs, and this is no exception. I love that Raquel is able to talk about parenting while sharing the aspects of their travels to a variety of countries across the globe…” Click here for Nikki’s article/full interview:

Pumping for the future – thoughts on life and work balance in the Foreign Service

This past weekend I finally got my way around the Foreign Service Journal. As most of us already know, the Journal, including the AFSA News section, is published monthly, with each issue covering foreign affairs from an insider’s perspective. Well, this last edition was entirely focused on Foreign Service Work-Life Balance. One article in particular, … Continue reading “Pumping for the future – thoughts on life and work balance in the Foreign Service”