To want my kids to have the same nationality and accent as me?(40 Posts)
Bit of background: my DP and I are from different counties, both English speaking. We are currently living where I am from, but shortly relocating to where DP comes from for economic reasons. We will be quite a bit better off there, but we would be ok here. I would rather stay, naturally as it is home for me. But I realise we must do what is right for us all, and I do not think DP will ever settle and be happy here (lots of reasons, not least how difficult and intrusive my family is). And hopefully I can settle there. Anyhow, back to the title...I have this gut feel of sadness that our kids will grow up a different nationality to me, with a very different culture and sound completely different. DP does not care about this, which is ironic as we are going to his country. I know I am probably a bit U, but is it that strange to want your kids to share these things? Obviously I will show them my country too, but naturally it will never be as important to them. How do I overcome this feeling as I have given up on us being able to stay where I am from?
Well they will. Your children will grow up with a different culture and nationality. Do you like New country your moving to?
I don't know. My DS has a dad from a very different culture to me. However he's British and grows up here so he does share much of my culture, but he has a whole other side to him that is wonderful. His name isn't British, and he likes to identify a lot with his dad's culture so I feel he's different to me in many ways but I actually love that. He is who he is which isn't the same as me.
I have this with DD. I never even noticed she had an English accent until recently (I'm Australian). You will teach them about your culture and teach them to be proud of it.
It is hard. I worry that DD won't have the carefree childhood i had as we live in London.
But we do plan to move back to Australia so i hope she will appreciate both cultures.
OP I am guessing your DP is Australian?
Mine is too and we're also relocating.
I completely understand. But...over the years of all this discussion between DH and I, I have come to realise that my nationality is no more valid than his...and that actually our DC are sort of international. They're both.
They always will be.
I regret things like...I won't be able to walk the streets in his home town and point out "Your Grandad went to Chapel there..." and "That's where your great Gran lived in 1890" as I can here.
BUT. DH understood and promised that we would find all these important places in his country...that the DC will always be both...and know both and have roots in both countries.
It's an astonishingly fortunate thing actually....
I'm confused - do you mean they will grow up in a different country or county? If a different part of the United Kingdom, I can't see it as that big a deal. Accent means absolutely nothing these days. Culture - you can help give them an insight into your culture.
If you will be financially better off in new place, maybe focus on the better opportunities they will have as a result of the move?
I don't understand. You already have kids? My husband and I have different nationalities, our children are dual and we live in a third country and they now have the local accent! This doesn't bother any of us. It sounds like you really don't want to move to his home country and you need to discuss this way more or there could end up with lots of resentment.
It's more important who they are and not where they are from. I hope, whether they continue to grow up here in their Dad's country or if we moved back to my home country or even somewhere else, that my children will just continue to be themselves along with being kind and considerate to others. They nationality and their accent some of the least interesting things about them (although DH does claim the accent will help them get English girlfriends when they're older )
I don't think you are being strange because I can relate! I feel a lot of love for where I'm from and strangely sad that my children are going to lose their accents (and I'm only talking about regional accents here :p). I've moved away from my family, my friends, my career and everything that I know and love...and that is me.
Having said that, although 18 months on I am still horribly homesick. My main reason for moving was to give my children a better quality of life - bigger house, better/safer area. Seeing them happy and settled numbs my sadness.
I can't tell you how to overcome your feelings because I struggle with mine on a daily basis...but I accept them and never try to bury them... I guess you learn to live with it. The positives in my situation outweigh the negatives.
I think your country will be important to them and I'm sure they will love going to visit to see where you/they grew up. Give it a shot and see how it works out.
We've lived in the USA for 35 years. Our DCs were 1 and 4 when we came. Yes they don't sound English, but they are through and through. Yes they're used to the different culture here, but we arrive back in the airport in England and the youngest one takes a deep breath and says "I'm home". She was so excited to introduce her American son the the UK last summer. He loved it too.
DH is Welsh ( does not speak Welsh )
We live in Wales
My DC have strong Welsh accents , which I hate
But consider themselves English
They'll grow out if their accents and grow into themselves
An accent isn't what makes them who they are
Thanks. Sorry it was meant to be countries! Different counties would be lovely!
No it isn't Australia, we will be a lot closer. And I get the point about children being international, that is true. I guess deep down it is not what I would choose, and this is only one of the minor issues. DP doesn't see my point, but it doesn't really matter to him given we are going to his country. I guess in a few years time it won't really matter and I will be used to it...just having a moan...
Yes already have kids, but they are very small, with cbeebies accents at the moment
However, you could argue that every generation grows up in a different culture to their parents, regardless of geography. Time can change a place and a people radically. When I think about what 1970s Britain was like compared to today's Britain, I actually cannot believe that 70s Britain ever existed -- yet I grew up in it and the parameters of that world partly formed the person I have become.
Yet no child of mine will ever know that world and the culture it had, the kinds of people that existed then, the ways things smelt, the way people behaved and spoke -- but it is the same country.
And nationality? Well, ideas of nationality change and come to mean different things, even if the name of the nationality remains the same.
I know this isn't exactly what you mean, but there can be just as much difference between you and your children if you stay in your home country than if your children grow up elsewhere. You may even find that another country delivers a growing-up experience for your children that feels far more familiar to you than your mother country would provide at this point in time.
I think it's very natural to be sad.
I don't know that there is an easy answer, but I know a lot of familes with parents from different places, and it seems to me the ones where it works best, are where both parents (and the children) understand that each parent will have nostalgia for their own experiences. So even if your DH doesn't mind, I think it matters that he's supportive of you saying to your children what you miss, and making that a positive thing. So for example I have a friend who is English and her DH is French, and their French-speaking, French-nationality children are both very aware of what English traditions their mum had. They have been brought up to feel this is a special thing, and it's worked, and means she doesn't have to feel her traditions are ignored, just because they're not living in a country where they are actively observed.
We live abroad, and the dc have picked up their accents off us. You don't know exactly what they will end up sounding like.
However, you dc will share your nationality I assume, and will have the choice to go back to your home country if they want to. Or do they have to give up their current nationality to go?
(I mean, they have things like 'in England, we have Bonfire Night and we set off fireworks'. They don't actually set off fireworks, but they know it's a Thing and they know it's what mummy did, and at the moment (her kids are 5 and 7) they seem to enjoy feeling it's something special about their mum, so she gets to talk about what she misses and they get to feel it's a bit special having an English mum).
I like that my dcs have different accents and nationalities to mine. It helps me see them as their own people, not just as my children. Like in the poem by Gibran
I used to insist on correcting my DD, she speaks my language with an (extremely strong) English accent. What I didn't appreciate is that I speak my OWN language with an extremely strong English accent as well (think 20+ years in UK).
Don't be sad....it's not only your children that will have a different accent
I am an Aussie DH is Welsh speaking Welsh. We currently live in his home town in West Wales. My Australian accent is not particularly strong to start with but it is still there, but the Dc speak very English English with almost no lilt. However,I find this interesting as the only English they have been exposed to pre school was mine and the local welsh lilt (they speak welsh with DH and wider family) but they have managed to end up with a posh English one when using English and they are so Welsh.
I never even noticed the accent thing until we were back in Australia and friends commented on the accent!
They identify as Welsh. That is fine. They also get exposed to Australian stuff as and when appropriate and I love it that they use Australian slang on occasion! It doesn't matter to me really as long as they identify with a place. We lived OS for years and taught too many expat kids who didn't feel at 'home' anywhere. As long as my kids are familiar with my culture it is all good
For some reason I have you as Irish and your DH as English (and nothings going to convince me otherwise )
But seriously I understand what you mean, my children are a different nationality to me, and have different accents. When they were very little it upset me the idea of this, but I can tell you the reality is far less upsetting than the idea.
Ultimately you'll find that they way they speak will be how your children sound ( much as they look how your children look), rather than sounding different. If that makes any sense!!!
I understand but we are scottish and my cousins grew up in England with an English father and my aunt their scottish mother. Although they are definitely english and have english accents my aunt ensured they celebrated burns night, knew how to ceilidh dance and understood Scots words. My aunt has passed away now but my cousins are still well and truly half scottish and keep that part of their own identity alive which is lovely to see.
I'm guessing you're Irish and your DP is English/British. I think that there's a sharpness to that particular relocation that isn't always the case elsewhere. YANBU.
Join the discussion
Please login first.