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Parenting in America through encouragement

Honduran mother with two children
Photo: iStock/Jodi Jacobson

Communication can help families handle the challenge of parenting in America together.

When our family first got here in the United States, my children were very respectful and modest. We were very strict to them at a young age so they learned to act according to our rules. They started by attending elementary schools with no book bags and school supplies.

Since I could not speak English, I was not able to provide them with their school needs.

A few days later, our agency bought us some school supplies and took us to the store so we were able to buy some book bags as well. I knew it was hard for my kids to attend school especially since the environment and the people were very different. Knowing this, I never stopped encouraging them. Parenting in America requires the parents to be there for the needs of children. When we had family prayers every Saturday night, I would talk about the importance of attending of school and told them to ask God whenever they faced an obstacle.

During their middle school years, they did not really communicate with us like they used to.

They would instead talk in English with some of the neighboring friends who were a bad influence. I was afraid they will be influenced by the people they were hanging around with so I tried to have more family prayers. After I did not succeed, we decided to move to a private house. Parenting in America became easier because having a private house. Living in a private house allowed me to have more interactions and to build my relationships with them.

When they attended high schools, I already had a good relationship with them so they told me all their struggles.

I could not help them as I did not attend school but I would encourage them and pray for them. As a result, both of my sons are attending schools right now receiving A/B’s honor roll and my daughter graduated from high school as a Top 10 and is now attending a college in Indiana with scholarships.

It was hard asking them to lead a good example when some of the kids around them were bad. But through communication, I was able to not only change the people they hung out with but I was also able to change them to be a role model for other children.

Opinions expressed and advice given in USAHello’s Voices and Hello blogs are the writers’ own. USAHello offers impartial information and online courses to help newcomers in the USA.