Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Being bi-cultural is a very unique experience.
I guess it is because the individual is exposed to two languages, thus two cultures and two different worlds.
The individual can see, feel and learn more than single-culturally raised kids. I will take it as a merit, after seeing lots of bi-culturally raised friends.
First of all, as Mia Mei mentioned, bi-cultural kids have the opportunity to learn two languages.
Could be English and French, Chinese and Japanese, English and Cantonese, Spanish and English, Italian and German, and so on.
Lots of combinations and lots of interesting things.
There are lots of in common sometimes, i.e. Chinese characters and Japanese characters. French words and English words.
I have met a lots of American born Chinese, we call them ABC, and they are fluent in both languages. They have no trouble to travel and learn abroad, and can easily get along with local people. How amazing it is!
Secondly, bi-cultural kids have opportunities to learn in two cultures. Of course, there will be some conflicts. For example, Chinese culture is more conservative while American culture is more open.
But kids learn to deal with it very well if they get educated correctly, not only from school but also from their parents.
I would say the influence from parents is more significant because it will accompany them from being born to growing up. Kids’ habits and personality will be largely impacted by their parents and the culture of their family.
Lots of my friends parents are also immigrants in U.S. and they were facing two cultures when they came.
Most of them may already have experienced what their children are experiencing now, therefore, they could be the best teacher to handle such situation.
Additionally, they will have more fun in life. For example, they will all travel to the country of origin for their languages. All of my ABC friends have been to China, some more frequently and some less.
They have no trouble to travel themselves. They can easily make friends with Chinese people there, can easily find jobs and settle down for a long time period. They will go to local restaurants, theaters, night clubs, shopping centers and resorts as well, with no trouble at all.
I think they benefit from growing up in bi-cultural environment.
I recall that when I was in Los Angeles, lots of my ABC friends will take me to different restaurants and they all love Chinese food very much. Lots of restaurants that I mentioned in my blog are introduced by them to me.
I think being bi-culturally raised enables kids to explore a bigger world with a solid background.
God opens two doors for them. Aren’t they lucky?