Raising children in Chiang Mai

Being a kid AND being raised in Thailand as a foreigner is a challenge.  Apparently the turnover of international schools is about 30% every year.  For alot of kids the most worrying thing about moving is ” will I make friends”. Another difficulty is finding hobbies. A girl I know just moved to Chiang Mai and she is really struggling. At 13 life can be very difficult but add a move, to a different country it becomes almost too much to cope with. Friends have been left behind, houses, family and hobbies. There are alot of things to do in Chiang Mai if you have the money. Music lessons, horse-riding and art lessons costs as much if not more as in Europe. Not all families have alot of cash ( what? farang aren’t rich??) so it hits the children quite hard.
What am I saying? Listen to your kids and try to give them alot of things they like doing so that living in Thailand doesn’t become something they hate but a wonderful enriching experience. 

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3 Responses to Raising children in Chiang Mai

  1. him says:

    I don’t think this has anything at all to do with being in a foreign country.

    A kid wouldn’t want to move towns in their home country for exactly this reason. Kid’s don’t have the notion of “keeping in touch” – I remember people moving to the next school along, a mere couple of miles away, never to be heard of again.

  2. Yes, I think most kids are adverse to change. And worse, I think that they feel that they are powerless and that everything they do is at the whim, albeit necessary, of somebody else. Even with hobbies it must be hard for them to leave family and friends and familiar things behind. As you say I suppose all you can do is be patient and try to understand their frustration while at the same time trying to introduce them to a new, hopefully, exciting world. It’s certainly easier to move around cultures when you are young. And I always feel envious of kids, now adults, who have grown up in different cultures. They seem (to my provincial mind ;-) to be so much more sophisticated, confident and comfortable in the wider world. Probably only my perception of them and not one that they themselves would recognise. We are always looking at the greener grass …

  3. lyle says:

    oh, boy, this post is so true and it makes me quake to think about our next move…we’ve been here for four and a half years; it’s all my kids know. we expect to move again (probably to europe — spain, we hope) in about three years. it will be incredibly difficult. “him” is right that it’s not hard because of moving between different countries, that it’s the moving, period. but still — adjusting to entirely new cultures certainly makes it even harder!

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