Parenting in a New Country

In our work with parents from ethnic minorities we’ve met a lot of parents who are new to Scotland and struggling to adjust to the thousands of differences they encounter. We met one parent from Poland who struggled to understand why the school wanted her to bake a cake for them to sell to raise money for the school- why couldn’t she just give the school money? (In Poland if the school needs extra equipment they will approach local businesses to help them).

More seriously children are growing up as Scottish citizens learning values that are very different from the ones that their parents and there can be a growing generational gap. Their children are living in a very different world and it can hard for parents to understand what is happening in their school lives. We met one mother who came to Scotland from Algeria, she felt that there was a gap growing between her and her children until she became involved in the school (and later the parent council). This gave her a chance to understand the world her children were living in at school as well as helping her build links with the local community. Since she joined she’s felt the cultural gap between her and her children become smaller.