I sometimes wonder what adoptive parents mean when at the suggestion of teaching their kids the culture of their birth, they reply, "But I don't want to push Korea on them" or "I don't want to make them do something they might not want to do".
Because here's the truth: we "push" all kinds of things on our kids. We enroll them in ballet, soccer, science camp, piano lessons, babysitting courses, Cub Scouts, tennis lessons, summer camps, sewing or chess clubs, choir, and beyond....
So is it really always "pushing"? Or is it exposing? Or is it demonstrating the value and importance and respect we have for our kids' birth culture? And in turn a value and respect we have for them and their birth family and their birth culture? And when we start when our kids are young, weaving components of language and other culture into our family lifestyle, it's just a way of life and no big crazy deal. It's a part of what makes you the unique family that you are... just as your family values sports, classical music, geocaching, travel, deer hunting, Broadway musicals, or whatever it may be. There's nothing to be fearful of--this is your child and a part of who your child is.
My first grader is loving language class. And before you go all Debbie-Downer on me ("Well, you just wait..."), of course I know the interest and excitement may wane or that it may not be "cool" down the road. But for now we're going with it and having fun with it, even if we realize that no one in our family may ever be fluent.
For if I would "push" gymnastics or piano lessons on my child, why wouldn't I "push" something that is a part of my child's history and even a part of their present. Because they are in fact Korean--no matter where they live--and many will even expect them to know the language and culture. Why not try to set them up as best I can for competency in this area? Anything I can do to support their identity now and to lay the groundwork for down the road is what I want to be doing.
Tonight the homework was done excitedly not just because the language is just that fun, but because I also know my darling wants to impress the Korean college and high school aged teachers. Because let's face it--anything with a college student is far cooler and more fun than anything with one's own mom. :-)
[ photo: tonight's homework. And as for the future and language class, we'll take it one day, or even one year, at a time. ]
[ this post copied entirely from a status I wrote on my Facebook page on 03/10/15 ]