3. Strong Roots: I love the fact that I can share British things with my children and show them how it is a part of who they are. I tell them about their British heritage and not only is it interesting to them, it is also good for them. Research has shown that,
“The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned.”
4. They Stand Out in A Dutch Crowd: Sometimes children don’t want to stick out, but being part British in the Netherlands gives them a subtle way of standing out. Nothing outrageous, just a little trait that I think is a great talking point.
|Hagelslag – that’s chocolate sprinkles to you and me
Photo Credit: Ekki
5. Mixing it Up: The fact that I want to share British things with my children means we get to mix up two cultures in our house and thus we enjoy a hybrid culture. My sons will happily eat baked beans on toast but I wouldn’t dream of trying that delicacy out on any of their friends because I am pretty sure it would be discarded at one glance. It’s something that other Dutch children would not be eating at home. The same goes for boiled eggs and soldiers – a unique British breakfast that means nothing to Dutch children. At the same time my boys are also delighted to tuck into bread covered in hagelslag for breakfast. They are ecstatic at the idea of Sinterklaas coming to town, but they also get to enjoy a visit from Father Christmas – something that their Dutch friends don’t experience. There are times when my three children are very typical little Dutch boys, there are times when at least my oldest could be British and there are days when they are a perfect mix of Dutch and British.
Choosing to live away from family throws up many challenges – from the moment you know you are pregnant abroad, to birth and far, far beyond – for more stories about parenting abroad check out our Kickstarter page for Knocked Up Abroad Again.