I feel that many parents seemed to believe that a better educational system is the best answer to providing and preparing ones children for the future. What are your thoughts on education and parental roles while residing in U.S? I would like to pose the following questions for forumers to answer:

1. Does the western system stengthens or weakens parental roles in the lives of their children?

2. What can parents do while living in the U.S to ensure that their parental responsiblitiies are not compermised by the Western way of living?

Thank you,



  • pronto

    What is the unmeasurable traditional support system or value are you talking about? Are you speaking in the FSM or a particular state? I will give you my dimes worth later on.

  • Support meaning our children are not left alone at home while the parents are out working the 9-5 jobs.
    Support means that I can count on aunty or cousin ...to look after baby so I could take a break.
    Support means that the children are being looked after by many people in the community.
    Support means that uncle or anuty can help me keep my children straight.
    Support means that my children do not struggle try to fit in the school system or community.
    Support means that being in our local communities the children learns alot more about responsiblities...
    ... and more.
  • A Brain without a heart is just like a mackerel without a head.
  • edited April 2007
    I live in the US and I don't send my kids to school here. (We homeschool in a coop environment.) I have also talked with people from other island countries and the families told me how hard of a time they have keeping their family intact here in the US even with the parents here. Of course, I am sure even in FSM it's a challenge to raise children according to your traditions.

    Whenever you send your children off to another country (I've done that.), it really depends on what situation you are sending them to. If there is a good family with responsible parents, it's best. When we lived in FSM, there was the feeling that "the village is raising the child." That's not the way it is in the US. There are a lot of temptations and lifestyles and selfish ways available to kids all the time. Constant communication is vital. On the flipside, sometimes when your child is in another country, the communication CAN get better (It's not automatic though).

    Nothing substitutes for the strong family. That's the number one strength for a child to make it in this world.
  • Thank you itsrks,

    Many uneducated parents - parents that do not have much western education tend to believe that having a good command of the English language is enough for their children to make it in this world. I strongly believe that parents should not be separated from their children especially in their early yrs, (infant - atleast 15 yrs old or even up to their 18th birthday. That nurturing family support can and should never be replaced! ...
  • a heart without a brain is a lion..be a lion...that's what our children need to be today...
  • PRONTO _Q, I agree with the statement you made about the mentality that having a good command of the English language is enough. What many did not know is the fact that studies done in the past concluded that those who started learning in their own language first always become successful. In addition all those means of support you listed are but the most important to the children upbringing and learning. I feel sad seeing many of our children who are away from home too long. They are becoming children of nowhere. They are not children of where they are being tranplanted to for obvious reason. They are no longer considered or fit to be children of their own home because they are different. So they are nobody and they are losers. They are as you say heart without brain.
  • Do you mean parents are sending elementary children away? If so, is it to relatives? I think high school might not be too bad, like I said, if the environment is good. I am just curious.... why do parents think if the kids know English, they will be better off? And where are these kids being send? To the US? Aren't there schools, like SDA that teach English well enough? Or, can't learning English wait until college? Parents should never feel their love and attention toward their children isn't extremely valuable!!!!

    I am a hollow cement pole
  • I saw a poster somewhere that says, "The best investment for your children's education is to educate the adults!" Since parents of today in FSM are often face with circumstances whereby they must make judgments calls on a lot of things including their children's education, they needed to be informed. They needed to be educated too to make those important decisions affecting their children, regardless whether they are in the USA or back in the FSM. Living in the United States, as one Jesuit implied, doesn't mean you have to surrender your traditional values and norms, or even compromised them... but some hard choices or judgment must be made from the day the parents began to think of going to the states with their children..OR.. to send their children away for school in the USA.

    There is no such forumula that fits all...but must be taken on a case-to-case basis, because what may work for Couple A and family...may not work for Couple B. Lot of things must be taken into considerations, and if Couple A picked a state with unsafe neighborhoods, they are likely to envy Couple B who pick a state and a friendly neighborhoods. But, then at the homefront, Couple B couldnt bo work because child B is still underage and needed to stay home. Would they even choose to leave home had they known that they must both work to make ends meet?

    English is important and useful in FSM where nearly everything we do, buy, use and learn are in English, and it helps our students learn faster either in FSM and/or in the USA. But then look around in Pohnpei where some of the people went to Japan and they came back are working in restaurants, barber shops, bars, hotels and etc and are very fluent in Japanese. A nephew of mine is working in Honolulu, heading up a touring agency there and speaks fluent Japanese. He did not do quite well while learning in English in grade and high schools. But, after six (6) months in Japan (all be himself), he is quite an independent person in Honolulu. My 27 yr old daughter oversea still complained about being homesick.

    Different situations for different people..and the bottom line still rest on the shoulder of the parents who rear the children. While I wanted my children to learn their courses at the high school, I also wanted them to learn the transition of becoming adults and be responsible. PICS confined them into fences like prisoners and hardly send home their report cards through them, signaling adults not trusting the students. Again, to me, the pincipals, teachers and staff at PICS need to be educated, but not the students. Won't you agree?
  • All i have to say is that i am a student residing in the U.S and going to highschool here. After my 8th graduation @ st.marys i was sent here for school. it was very hard leaving my whole family and coming here. But i am now a Junior and i am very glad that my parents gave me that opportunity to come here. i have learned so much more and seen a lot. Due to the fact that i came here alone without my parents, i have grown to be much more independent. School will be hard if you make it seem hard. School at first, was really hard, i was way behind, but with the help of the teachers here, i caught up. i am now a 3.5 GPA student, and am trying to maintain my grades till graduate. Whenever I Feel that i want to give up and i think about my parents, the hardships they went through, the idea of letting go of thier child to go to a foriegn land , and all the years of work and money they saved, just so i could have a better education. That is what keeps me trying. Their motivation keeps me trying and wanting to finish school and go to college, sO i could get a good succesful job, and be able to take good care of them in the future. I am thankful that my parents sent me here to go to school. And it doesnt matter where you are in the world, just as long as you have the support of the ones you really love, you can do anything, you set your mind to!!

  • edited April 2007

    That is really encouraging that you are doing well and that you are connected in heart and spirit with your family in spite of going away to school. I am sorry you had to go through difficulties but you seem to have grown in strength because of the challenge. There is a lot of love in a parent that sends off their child because they know it will be best for them. That is very deep love and I've experienced that with my children. It is true that you can learn responsibility in that situation. On the other hand, if your parents only sent you off for materialistic or external reasons, you would not feel it is such a valuable decision.

    I believe it's important to have both expertise and ethics so I would add that to your words: ALL THAT MATTERS IS THE KNOWLEDGE YOU HOLD. In my book, the most important thing is a heart for others. Expertise and knowledge can allow you to do more for others.
  • Snapshot

    That's right! Parents, teachers, principles, and all people of position need to be educated. As you know, education isn't a one time thing, it's a life course. The more parents and teachers learn, the more things advance. Then, the next generation should pick up the baton and take it further.
  • The title of this discussion is quite interesting; "Brain w/out a heart like a hollow cement pole." The hollow cement pole, of course is what is used now for pillars and posts for meeting houses and probably large buildings...originally destined for? We have taken a cement pipe meant to convey water and have utilized it in constructing various forms of structures that are sometimes quite innovative if observed closely. Here's an item that we have adapted to our own needs and thus the item itself had branched out in its utility. Because of the myriad uses that are conceived; now instead of ordering 100 cement pipes as needed for the project, extra is penciled in for other purposes(?)...just guessing here__no pointing. What I am trying to say is that given the current profile of the cement pole, being likened unto a hollow cement pole may not be so bad after all.

    On a more serious note, yes much education can make a man less community minded and probably more self-centered if one is not careful and lose sight of the real calling; which is to give back to the community that nurtured and made possible the avenues and the wherewithals of the self-sought improvements.

    micro at LARGE
  • lodup,

    I am not an engineer, but I do know one thing for sure - when those tropical typhoons come, it does make a difference whether your pole is hollow or not. *hehe. My point is INNER STREGNTH is always the best comparing to all others. INNER STREGNTH could come from your believe in an higher power, and of course family nurturing...

    One of the reasons why I posed this topic was the fact that I had more than one person question me about immigration of Micronesians to U.S. I shared my piece with them and I was just wanted to know your opinion regarding that matter.

    I truly believe it is a topic that is worth researching and perhaps more importantly, worth educating our communities about it. Where is my friend Keta, how about you make it your next research topic? I can help you interview families residing in U.S. and you do the rest. *wink Just an humble suggestion, Lady! Nothing personal..

    Tirow, Kinisou Om Aninis...
  • Pronto_Q,

    Point well taken. I relish your response and I am convinced your analogy is very well thought out and thus why it is so interesting. I daresay being not an engineer you have made your point JUST SO. The insight with which you present your point has "engineer" written all over, I'll go so far as venturing 360 degrees of engineer QAQC. Excellent job, bro!/SIS?

    micro at LARGE
  • Wow! It's reality in the real sense. I meant all your contributions are logically informative and educational. I guess we can pack our traditional values and headed for US. Forget about betel-nuts, Kon, and Sakau; they are all useless compare to education. But if you think that traditional and family values helped you in getting better education, don't forget to bring back home your academic intellects.


    Thanks for your poetic humor!
  • Iam not quiet sure if I understand what is going on but I will just simply say that this situation is really up to individual and where they are. For instance, if they are in the developing nations, they are to act that way. If they are in the FSM, they act locally. But over all, do not forget to think locally. That is our Identity. We are Uniquely Micronesians and proud to be Micronesians. Educationally speaking, yes we indeed need to be educated or have to have jobs. Money is everything. But in other hand, still we are locals. we need to preserve out traditions and skills. We can survive, travel, and live locally. We are Who we are!
  • *No one is saying stop being Micronesian or act local only in Micronesia.

    - "NOTHING PERSONAL, IT IS ONLY BUSINESS". As a Micronesian, how would you explain that to us? Would it be different if you were to explain that to non-Micronesians? How about, "CHUUKEI CHOK"? How does that phrase fit-in in a Western culture?
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