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Thread: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

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    New Member Array canyonklein's Avatar
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    To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    What do you think??? Those of you with kids here and those of you without kids.

    I have been married to a Chinese/Thai for a few years now. We have a beautiful 7 month old daughter. I got really lucky finding my wife. I have been traveling back and forth for 3 years now. My daughter is a US citizen (although she has yet to visit the States). However, I almost prefer to raise her more Thai than American. Don't get me wrong, I love my country, but truly believe we have many wrong ideas about what is important in life. We currently live in a condo that my mother in law owns, why not, its free and we have everything we need, she has many condos so we dont feel bad living in one while we are getting started with our newborn and using our money for business and so forth.

    Anyways, I believe my wife understands the true meanings in life and my daughter is the happiest child you will ever see. I am afraid of both of them becoming Americanized, thinking primarily of work--money--work--money. Don't get me wrong as these aspects are important, but there is so much more to life than materialistic--capitalistic views. The importance of family, life, true happiness, good deeds, helping others--true internal peace. I believe my daughter will learn the importance of life being raised Thai and Buddhist as opposed to being raised American. It is up to the parents how a child is raised, but you can only control so much. Children learn from their surroundings and society as a whole.

    My daughter could have a Western education, big cars, big houses, stressed out, caught up in the materialistic propaganda of the American society. Or live a normal life with true internal happiness and understandings as my wife does. I think about this everyday. We can make a living in both countries. But I think she would be better off in terms of happiness living in Thailand, as I do myself and my wife would also.

    What do you think? Especially those of you who have been raising your children here in Thailand.

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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    ...as a priviledged hi-so Thai? I don't wish to be presumptuous, but the average farrang partner doesn't have rich parents. I guess it must be a fair option, provided that you are able to get her the best education possible, and give her the opportunities to be a materialistic Westerner if she wants later on. I would also never turn down the opportunity for her to be bilingual....why not just keep it half and half rather than more Thai and American.

    For my little girl, what you suggest is not for me. I want mine to be British. My wife, while respectable doesn't own lots of property, we don't live in Bangers, and we don't want to and cannot afford to send our daughter away to school....and I'm certainly not sending her to a local one. I for one don't want my daughter turningout like so many kids I see in my classroom everyday. Unthinking drones who are so made bythe system in which they were nurtured.
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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    I understand what you are saying about the education. Although I dont have much experience with Thai kids, I can read others experiences and get a basic idea. She will grow up bilingual, most likely throwing in Chinese and Japanese a few years down the road. Although my wife does come from a relatively hi-so background, she is down to earch and enjoys the simple things like myself. Quite opposite of her mother. She is an only child and we did not talk to her mom for over a year because she wasnt following her wishes. After our daughter was born, we decided it was time to let Grandma get to know her daughter and grandchild. Although we did accept to live in a condo for free (our lease was just up and we were starting to look), we will not accept 1 baht from her mother. We are normal people on normal salaries and just try to make decisions that will be best for our daughter.

    Based off my research so far, I think it would be good for her to grow up in Thailand until she is 7 or 8, then bring her to the States to live. Seems as though education and life's learning at the younger development stages would be better learnt in Thailand. I believe the benefits of living in Thailand and a Buddhist culture in the early years would benefit her more later in life, possibly to grab and appreciate opportunites much more than the average American, taking everything for granted. I want her to learn young what took me 29 years to learn over many different continents and experiences. And once again, I am not rich at all, I am able to take care of my family and provide for them what the need and desire. Although, taking care is not just money and materialistic items, but giving the emotional and mental support along with as much time as possible with the biggest smile I can offer, one that they give me. This is something I see the American culture lacks.

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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    I have a 1 year old (same as ldma) and I don't see why I can't grab what is best from both cultures. I believe my wife and I have done it (where I have changed for the better and so has she) so that is how I want to raise my child (ren).

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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    If I were raising a girl I would be less concerned about the effects of Thai culture. It seems the culture does wonderously good things for the women but incredibly bad things for the men. I have little respect for the men of this culture.

    Regarding happiness in children, I'll quote from the book "Culture Shock," "Thai children grow up with a pleasing personality but mildly retarded." The over indulgence of Thai children and especially the boys, diminishes their thinking skills and their analytical development.

    While I would agree with the OPs analysis of the materilistic nature of American culture, I would say Thai culture is much the same.
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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    I do have to agree. The sex of my child plays a bigger factor in my thought process. Most women do learn excellent values here, and the men, well, I would prefer my son to grow up in the States.

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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    Hello all,

    My boy is due in three weeks here in Bangkok. My wife is thai but has lived in america with her family for most of her life. I made the decision to move here for a few years to expand my horizons and learn a bit about the other half's culture. She still has family here and we will be making visits annually.

    Our plan is to return to America with my family before our child is 2 years old. We are going to teach him both languages and I would like for him to take "the good" from both cultures. I honestly have not decided about which religion to teach him about. I was Catholic until my father left our family when i was 7, then all of a sudden i was a Baptist. By age 12 i was not going to church. I have formed my own relationship with God because I was given a choice about which faith to hold. Im just not sure what to do with our boy.

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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    The choice is up to you, have them be bilingual and bicultural. I have twins who are doing fine here young ladies they are. But dont let them be Thai alone. I would suggest making English the first language. If you want more details pm me or have a mod get ahold of me and I will get you my email addy. The address may be in my profile I am not sure. My kids were born here and are now in 4th grade.
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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    Your child will be their own person whatever you try and do about 'culture'.
    She is born into a bilingual household with both cultures present.
    Both cultures will play a role in your child's development.
    I think you are worrying too much over it but that is understandable.
    I'd like my boy to have the best of both cultures but I already see that he has his own mind and preferences. He picks and chooses what he likes and doesn't like.
    The important thing is to have a happy, stable and loving household.
    The culture will sort itself out.
    Faith, by itself, isn't a good enough reason to believe. Instead, a belief must be defensible through reason, logic, and evidence.
    The idea that faith is somehow justified by the fact that the beliefs cannot be proven is a truly Orwellian position to adopt - not to mention intellectually and ethically dangerous.

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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    Based on my research and experience, we have decided of course to bring her up bilingual with English as the primary. In terms of religion, I believe it best to introduce choices and let people make their own choice not based on what was forced on them. However I see the ultimate benefits of Buddhism as it is non-theistic and teaches one the truths. She will also be presented to all major religions for true understanding of the world and her people.

    In terms of culture, I like Thai culture quite a bit, but I also love the strength of the American culture, as long as it is controlled and reserved for proper use. Not to be too overbearing and too agressive, which is quite hard for many of us Americans. But I think being raised in Thailand during her early development stages and then brought to the States once she has a true foundation, that she would grasp and appreciate the opportunities in the States much more than most of us.

    What do you think about this thought?

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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    my daughter was born and raised in the UK and is now 16 years old. she is bright, relaxed with kids and adults, with excellent social skills, and is confident expressing her opinions. got voted head girl of her school yesterday too, which i'm proud about. she is doing pretty well academically. i have always been very happy that she's been brought up and educated in the UK, and i think it's put her at a much better position than if she'd been raised and schooled in Thailand. In a couple of years the world will be her oyster. My only slight regret is that she doesn't speak any Thai, but I blame her mum for that. values, religion, etc can be done in any country with parental support. don't underestimate the importance of home influences.
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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    Quote Originally Posted by Umbuku
    Your child will be their own person whatever you try and do about 'culture'.
    She is born into a bilingual household with both cultures present.
    Both cultures will play a role in your child's development.
    I think you are worrying too much over it but that is understandable.
    I'd like my boy to have the best of both cultures but I already see that he has his own mind and preferences. He picks and chooses what he likes and doesn't like.
    The important thing is to have a happy, stable and loving household.
    The culture will sort itself out.

    Gotta agree...and also with what MM said....spot on...but they will be what they will be IMO!!!


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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    My daughter could have a Western education, big cars, big houses, stressed out, caught up in the materialistic propaganda of the American society.
    Jez, I thought I had a lot to offer on this topic. If this is what you believe I'll pass. Good luck.

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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    Quote Originally Posted by canyonklein
    We currently live in a condo that my mother in law owns,
    Assuming there is money around, this raises the issue of a maid or nanny actually bringing up your precious child rather than you and your wife. I know many farang couples whose children are actually brought up by an uneducated thai woman who follows the kid around doing everything for them - my advice is to avoid this scenario if you can.

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    Re: To Raise my Child Thai or as a Westerner???

    I don't have anything to offer on this topic Canyon but just wanted to say that if that's your little girl in the photo - she looks a real joy.
    The worst job in Thailand must be the man who has to sit down with a blue marker pen and mark a number two on the two-baht coins to stop people thinking they are one-baht coins.

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