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To think dd isn't a different nationality.

(109 Posts)
VoyageOfDad Mon 05-Jan-15 08:50:54

I have a dd who has a non British mum. We're ( mostly ) amicably separated , mum is the RP.

Recently dd has said to me that she is ( mother's nationality ). As this is what her mum is telling her.

She does speak her mother's language at her home. Though her English is stronger.

Dd was born in England, has always lived in England, her dad ( me ) is English, she goes to an English school and all of her friends are English, even the non school ones.

Am I being unreasonable to tell dd that although being ( mothers nationality ) is great, she is in fact both, and point out to her where she was born , lives etc ?

I've resisted the temptation to tell her she's far more English than anything else.

I don't want her to grow up being confused about who she is, but if I bring the subject up with her mother ( which I'd like to ) it's likely to escalate into an argument.

TheChristmasTreeFairy Mon 05-Jan-15 09:03:56

How old is your DD?

I have 3 DC with my DH who is 'foreign'. Our children were all born in his country and lived there until we all moved a year or so ago. We've always brought them up to know that they have a dual heritage but it's probably easier in our case as both DH and I speak the same language, albeit with different accents.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Mon 05-Jan-15 09:08:38

Well, if you can't talk to your ex about it, then how about saying yes, you are, you are X and you are also Y. Mum is from X and I am from Y and you are from both of us. This means you are lucky because...

My children are dual nationals (uk and kenya) and we tell them the benefits of being both.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 05-Jan-15 09:09:34

Please dont turn it into some sort of competition (which it reads like). If she is (say) Greek and says "Daddy Im Greek" jist repeat each time, "yes darling, you are. Half Greek and half English"

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Mon 05-Jan-15 09:09:42

I would remind her that by birth she is 50/50, but she was born here and lives here so she is far more British than anything else and that whilst being x is great, so is being British, so she's lucky to be both.

VoyageOfDad Mon 05-Jan-15 09:10:50

Dd is just 7

FreeSpirit89 Mon 05-Jan-15 09:13:50

I agree with above. Remind her ages duel nationalities but being 'more british' sounds like you want a competition.

NorwaySpruce Mon 05-Jan-15 09:14:56

I think you have a case for explaining the 50/50 thing, as you are British.

Just being born here doesn't confer citizenship though, so I can see where the sense of 'otherness' comes from.

I was born here, but can't get a British passport without jumping through quite a few hoops.

Something as simple as holding a UK passport can do wonders for fostering a sense of belonging - does your child have one?

MaidOfStars Mon 05-Jan-15 09:17:03

I am dual heritage (but not dual nationality, I never took it up) and it was always my UK parent pushing the non-UK identity onto me!

As Think says above, don't compete, acknowledge both parts. Your DD is lucky to have diversity in her heritage, and she'll appreciate it one day.

Chocolateteacake Mon 05-Jan-15 09:17:39

Sounds like mum is playing one-up. Just keep it light - half English like daddy, half x like mummy...

Our DS says he us English. Neither of us are - both Brits, though. He was born here, lives here, educated here and loves it.

Chocolateteacake Mon 05-Jan-15 09:19:10

We do joke that DS has a few nationalities to choose from during the world cup (not that scotland ever qualifies!)

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 05-Jan-15 09:21:13

I think you should just go with it and say 'yes darling half Spanish half English haha' and move on.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 05-Jan-15 09:22:23

"Just being born here doesn't confer citizenship though" er yeh it does if one parent is British

whatnow2 Mon 05-Jan-15 09:24:56

Hi voyage, I think it's normal for kids to identify with different bits of their heritage at different times. Also if her English half is the "ordinary" half seeing as she lives here etc.., then her other nationality is going to take on more prominence in her head maybe, as the part which makes her different and special. I don't think her mother is necessarily telling her she is only this nationality. I have known other dual nationality children to identify themselves as only one thing and it seems arbitrary as to which "part" they pick.

I would go with the "yes darling you are half "the other nationality" and half English" advice and leave it at that. It's great that she is proud of her "otherness".

Wealldancelamacarena Mon 05-Jan-15 09:26:20

I bet the mum is French smile

NorwaySpruce Mon 05-Jan-15 09:26:34

Well obviously Sunny , hence the proviso 'just' in my post.

LadyLuck10 Mon 05-Jan-15 09:27:42

It's ok to lightly remind your dd that she is equally both. I wouldn't bring up the more british part, she will most likely realize this for herself as she is growing up.

OddFodd Mon 05-Jan-15 09:27:59

This really isn't a big deal - just say 'well yes you are half X but you're also half English' and leave it at that.

It's not confusing for her nor is it necessary to speak to her mother about it. I expect she (quite understandably) wants to make sure your daughter realises that she has dual heritage. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. Your daughter probably likes feeling a bit special too which is why she's emphasising the X part of her heritage

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 05-Jan-15 09:28:12

well the dad is British so....

VoyageOfDad Mon 05-Jan-15 09:31:08

Thanks for the replies. Yes she does have a British passport.. She is entitled to one from her mums country but as yet hasn't got one ( to my knowledge at least )

And I've no problem with dd thinking of herself as dual nationality, I think it's a really positive thing.

It just her mum seems to be pushing the line to her that , no , she is one nationality, her mother's which does grate somewhat !

I'm only tempted to point out she's much more English because I feel provoked. But I'm hopefully mature enough not to go down that route.

whatnow2 Mon 05-Jan-15 09:33:42

(And I also have experience of this as I am half English, half another European nationality. We grew up in a third country which complicated things in my head but that's another issue. My husband is British but not English so our dc (we live in England) are quarter English, quarter my Mum's nationality and half my husband's. I have trained them to say all this blush though it would probably be easier and more accurate to say that they are British and then talk about their cultural background if they choose to. The issue of Englishness vs. Britishness if you have "foreign" blood is an interesting one.)

museumum Mon 05-Jan-15 09:38:44

I think it's not surprising that the "other" heritage is more interesting perhaps as it's the minority language and heritage. In actual fact she will be more english than the other so imo I would be happy with her emphasising her other heritage right now if that's what she wants. It's exciting to her to have this different background and culture. There will be times in her teenage years when she will want to be the same as everybody else and denies her other heritage too.

Springsintheair Mon 05-Jan-15 09:39:57

op please do not feel 'provoked' it is not a big issue and it is completely up to your dd to identify herself with one or the other or indeed both cultures. In my experience (am dual nationality) children identify with one or another part more strongly at different stages. You have really nothing to loose as your dd speaks your native language and lives in your home country whereas your ex is on less firm ground in terms of cultural identity.

I would suggest strongly that you rise above these feelings. You can gently remind her that she is also British because your are British but you could add "however if you feel like you are 'french', 'Italian' or whatever she is, that's ok as well. It's your choice" Don't turn this into a cultural battle it's not worth it and your dd will be by definition mor British as she lives here and English is her primary language. Please do not conflict her with this, it could create a long lasting issue and your dd might rebel against you anyway.

In the end of the day, why does it matter to you so much? She is a person first and foremost.

NotYouNaanBread Mon 05-Jan-15 09:42:19

I'm Irish, DH is American and both of our children were born here in England. We tell them that they are Irish and American. And yes, DH and I are competitive about it (in a good-humoured way!).

Your DD's Mum obviously identifies with her own nationality and I think that it is important to make a big thing about that with your DD because with Englishness occupying nearly every part of her life, it is important that she doesn't miss out on the fact that she is half whatever and I don't think your ex is being all that unreasonable to impress that upon her - nobody else will!

I'm surprised your ex hasn't got your DD a passport from her own country - it is important to DH and I that our children have both (although from a practical point of view, they have to).

Springsintheair Mon 05-Jan-15 09:43:03

Oh and I'm sure you are but please remain positive about her mother's culture as it is intrinsically part of your dd. thanks

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