Just a random post about parenting styles

There’s a lovely Australian site, The Hoopla, that I follow and today they had this article about a custody battle. In a nutshell, an Australian married an Italian and raised children in Italy and after a separation took their 4 daughters to Australia on holiday in 2010, but never returned to Italy.

There is a lot of talk about how it was handled and that the Mom is now in Australia and her girls back in Italy with their Dad. It is a bit of a sordid tale of how they had hidden the children in Australia in a bid to avoid them going back to Italy, but as always there is probably a lot more behind the story than anyone will ever know as they are now back in a villa in Florence behind locked gates. My heart ached for everyone, there is no happy ending.

I also read this story with such mixed feelings partly because I had a conversation with a Mom yesterday that has been battling with a difficult divorce for more than 2 years now so it’s been playing on my mind. This is besides another friend that recently settled a divorce after a hard 3 odd year battle. A battle that was often not played fairly by the other party and has left a very bitter taste and not many warm and fuzzy feelings toward this person (yes, I’m being vague. Think “I want to stab this person with a spoon” type not warm and fuzzy feelings)

So why am I blogging about stuff that really has nothing at all to do with me? There was so much going through my mind when I was reading about this, so many questions.

Many of us have lived overseas and I know plenty of people that were involved with/married/divorced people from other countries because they either met because we were traveling or they came here. (I was also not averse to dating the odd Australian)

Then I was thinking about how I would have parented if I had ended up having children with someone not from the same background as me or even from a different country. That must place an enormous amount of strain on a relationship, especially if both parents are very involved in raising the kids.

Often we will come to a little cross-road in raising kids about basic things like manners, that I know that there would have been a potential for conflict if Etienne and I weren’t raised so similarly and evolved from there. It comes naturally that we would agree, we don’t have to stop and figure it out first before we present a united front to the kids, it’s just THERE.

Are your parenting styles the same or different? If you are from different backgrounds/countries did you battle with some things? Did you manage to figure it out?

5 thoughts on “Just a random post about parenting styles”

  1. Two similar stories in the news last week that had me thinking about the same thing. One about a mom who married a Belgian guy, raised the daughter there and flew to SA few years ago never to return. Hid somewhere along the Garden Route and now has to return the child to Belgium. Another about an SA father whose French wife fled to France with the kids, they have now been returned to the dad about 4yrs later, can’t speak English, can’t really remember the dad, like you say… There is no happy ending for anyone, least for the kids. I think cross-nationality (or what do you call it?) marriages can be so exciting and enriching, but when things go wrong and you have kids, it must be such a nightmare to be in for all involved.

  2. I hear you on the different cultures and countries.
    Luckily we were raised in the same country and have similar views on parenting.
    Have seen many people battle divorces across the oceans…not a pretty sight

  3. Raising kids is difficult as it is, imagine doing it from different backgrouns? Gee. But at the end, as always, the kids are the real losers in the situation. My humble opinion is also that people just do not try hard enough to make a marriage work.

  4. At the moment I think David and I are from different solar systems never mind countries when it comes to parenting – or at least agreeing on things *sigh*

  5. This is the exact reason why I left a fantastic boyfriend in Sweden. He had asked me to marry him. I high tailed it out of there as I was worried about what would happen if we did get married and then it did not work out. I knew he would be a fantastic father, but then I would be stuck in a different country or if I did manage to leave with the kids they would not see their dad that often.
    Yes, maybe I over think things, but am glad I did. I think it must be a very difficult thing and different cultures, countries make it much harder. Even being from the same place is hard!!

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