Raising 3rd-Culture Toddlers

If raising toddlers has taught us anything, it’s definitely that perseverance are understood at such a young age. When our children try to achieve a task (whether dressing themselves while deciphering whether the clothing is turned on the right side or not, or when trying to sound out their letters when we are teaching them to read, etc.) we give them the opportunity to try. We ask if they need help and then we intervene slowly. But we encourage them trying and we praise their efforts…

If raising toddlers has taught us anything, it’s definitely that confidence is a necessary trait for life. It’s necessary. We can have our morale, beliefs, prayers, etc. But if we are not confident in knowing what we deserve and that we deserve, while putting all the works behind our goal, then is our faith really faith? If we don’t teach our children who they are, are truthful to them, and support them for their own passions (and not our own selfishness), then we are doing them a disservice. But as adults, if we aren’t confident on our own accord, how are we to teach such to a child? We have to be that example. It’s one thing for us to tell our children that they can do and be anything in this world…all-the-while not having followed our own advice…adorable-animals-baby-949859If raising toddlers has taught us anything, it’s definitely that forgiveness is necessary to release, move on, and live peacefully. We often associate a ‘tantrum’ with a child. Not necessarily. We, as adults, have been guilty of engaging in tantrum-like behavior too (gulp). But the difference is that our children release it, apologize, and they never bring it up again. Forgiveness is something we often do not teach and practice…yes – we’ve often seen it taught, but rarely practiced…except with innocent beings like our children. We are learning so much from these special beings…

If raising toddlers has taught us anything, it’s definitely that we have no idea what we are doing and who our children will become. People often use the terms ‘leaving it in God’s hands’ for different reasons (some applicable and some as not, but that’s a different topic for a different day haha). But we are sure that they are exactly who they are supposed to be because we are trying our best and that’s all we can do. It’s our job to raise them to ask questions, to do their own research, to trust their spirit, to nurture their souls, and to be free, honest, kind, respectful, street-smart little folks…oh, and we are okay with them learning to say ‘no’ because the world doesn’t expect to hear that…animal-baby-beak-157465If raising toddlers has taught us anything, it’s definitely that we would forever do ourselves and our lineage a disservice if we lived through them, spoiled them unnecessarily, and/or didn’t allow them their own identity. We live in a world where everything is about materialism, brands and titles, secrets, dancing around what’s really happening, and the bottom dollar…but what gets less traction are topics of following dreams, living passions, being transparent about what’s really going on, as well as praising & criticizing appropriately. If are children are mentally and physically capable of achieving something, then we will not deter them from that…it only limits them from doing something they are fully capable of doing on their own. That, and, we want to raise children to be independent contributors to the world…

Having a childfree first six years of our marriage, we realized that we really did need that time to get ourselves mentally prepared for pregnancy, birth, children, & the aftermath haha. That’s just what personally worked for us…or at least we thought…until we now have children. Now, we realize that we don’t know if we would have ever been ready for this experience. It’s so fun, frightening, glorious, educating, anxiety-prone, and yet the most spirit-fulfilling thing we’ve ever done. Being abroad with two little ones who already see the world through a different lens is eye-opening for us as adults.animals-lake-turtles-7391.jpgIn all seriousness, we are starting to think that they are raising us. And we appreciate this opportunity and God’s grace on their lives. We continue praying that we do the best we can with what we know, yet allow them their own place in this world. We ask for discernment, maturity, openness, common-sense, quick thinking, lots of laughter, and holistic-minded princes that owe nothing to the world except their talents and positive energy. For this we prayed and we thank God for choosing us as each day, this experience has really taught us everything.

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