Click the links below to view resources:Resources and Help for Immigrant Families
Immigrant families face many challenges which include: inability or limited ability to speak English, an unfamiliarity with American customs, difficulty finding work or work that pays enough for the family to live on, trouble accessing social and financial assistance programs, and a lack of education, among others. Here are some tips for immigrant families to help overcome some of these issues.
Adjusting to America: Make Friends, Extend Your Family
If you don’t have family or friends nearby, you may feel isolated and lonely. Try to find fellow immigrants from your country to become friends with and introduce yourself to your neighbors and coworkers, even if they don’t speak your language.
Watch and Learn from Americans
In the United States, many customs and ways of communicating may seem strange or even disrespectful. If you want your children to adjust well, it is important for both of you to watch Americans and learn their customs so you understand them. For example, in America:
Teachers encourage children to raise their hands and speak confidently in class.
It is a sign of respect to make eye contact when you are speaking with someone, even if they are your elder. However, staring is considered rude .
Bartering is generally not acceptable. If you are in a store, you must pay the price shown on the price tag.
Americans expect everyone to be on time.
Not everyone follows this custom, but in general, Americans strive to treat everyone as their equal, no matter their occupation, gender, race, religion or handicap. They will expect this of you too.
Being direct, honest and frank is desirable when expressed in a friendly and kind way.
Learn English, Speak Your Native Language at Home
Once you know some English, you can also take other basic classes that will help you with things such as learning to read and write better, use computers, use the bank, buy a home and many other useful things. You can also attend GED classes to finish your high school education if you haven’t, and can then go to college if you desire.
Your Children’s Education in the United States
Children can start school as early as three year's old. If you don’t make much money, your preschool aged child will likely qualify for a program called “Head Start.”
Parents show an interest in their child’s studies and help them with assignments and projects at home. It is important that you ask your child what assignments they have each day and make certain they complete them on time.
Parents meet with teachers to discuss a child’s progress, ask questions, and learn what is expected of the child during a time called “Parent Teacher Conferences.” You are also encouraged to make other appointments with the teacher or principal if you have questions or concerns.
A child must attend school regularly, not miss days unless they are sick, and arrive at school on time.
American schools have programs to help your children learn English.
If you don’t speak English, you have a right to ask for a translator to help you communicate with your child’s teacher.
A high school education may not be enough. People have the best opportunity to earn a living and provide for their families when they go to college. In the United States, if you don’t have enough money to pay for your child’s college education, they may be able to get a grant or scholarship—even if you don’t have papers or citizenship.
Your Relationship with Your Children
Sometimes,immigrant parents find themselves relying on their children to conduct business, talk to teachers and doctors, and other adult responsibilities because they speak English and you don’t. This can be a heavy burden for children to bear, so try to find another adult that can assist you if possible, and make learning English a priority if you can possibly make time. Even watching American television, listening to the radio and looking at American newspapers and magazines can help. You can get English lessons for free at The Literacy Center 2223 E. 7th Ave/ Ste, B Flagstaff, AZ, 86004 (928) 556-0313 and at Coconino Community College Fourth Street Campus at 3000 N. Fourth St. Flagstaff, AZ (928) 526-7600.
Much of the above information was taken from "Tips for Parents: Immigrant Families | PDF." Tips for Parents. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.
TIPS para las familias inmigrantes