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The Family Room Want to know the best place to buy baby clothing or toys, are diapers available in Thaliand? What about the best hospitals, the pitfalls of hiring a nanny or helper. How to keep teenagers amused in Bangkok, can I hire a carseat when I travel? Which children's medications are available?

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Old 07-07-2011, 08:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Advice, please.

Right where to start. My lad has just turned 7. I've spent most of his life working away with a few months here and there in Thailand, and they have spent 6 months with me in the UK (regular holidays too). The Mrs. couldn't settle so we agreed that the best course of action would be for them to go home and Alex to start school over there whilst i worked in the UK and took care of things financially.

I'm now in the position to come back to Thailand for at least 12 months, and whilst I'm doing somersaults about being a full time Dad and partner again - I'm starting to get really nervous.

I want to be as involved as I possibly can, but I'm worried that I wont know where to start. I'm concerned I'm going to worry like hell everytime he gets sick or cuts himself, or that we're not going to be able to communicate properly things like that. Now he's a bit older his Thai (obviously) has far outstripped mine and his English is non existent (I can help there).

I know it's partly down to a fear of the unknown, so I was wondering if anyone else has been in a similar situation and whether or not you could offer any advice, or insight that might make the little transition of him having his dad in his life all the time a little easier?

Cheers

Al
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Man, it sounds like your heart is in it...and the rest will follow naturally...
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Mrs. is there to help too I'm just worried I'll be a bit of a rabbit in the headlights and i want to hit the ground running.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You have the time now, so slow it down, and let it happen...
I am visited by this little Thai guy about the same age as your nipper...
He doesn't have a father, and for some reason, he loves me more than anything...
We don't hardly ever talk when he comes over...just kick the football around, etc.

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Old 07-07-2011, 08:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey, just have a go, do your best no one is judging you . Get in there and give it a good shake.. and the best thing you can do for the youngun is to get special english tuition. not relevant now except for talking to you ,but super important for the youngun career wise. cheers.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good idea, he doesn't really like football yet probably because I keep sending Everton tops (lol) but we did get him a bike for his birthday so bike rides might do it.

I was thinking about taking a few Airfix model planes with me so we can make them and paint them together - but i don't know if kids go for that stuff any more.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Find things to enjoy together and have fun... teach him how to do grown up stuff and be a man... go to school and improve your Thai language before it's too late.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Find things to enjoy together and have fun... teach him how to do grown up stuff and be a man... go to school and improve your Thai language before it's too late.
When i came home to work my Thai was pretty good, but like anything without constant practice you lose it - so that is definitely on my agenda.

Ghost Who Walks - yeah that is a must, the school he's just started has an English language program from what i can gather, so that will help, and at the very least I can help him cheat on his homework ;-)
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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He will like computer shite (games), but that ain't the best IMHO...
Gotta limit the time on that...
I've been thinking of getting a remote-controlled helicopter...just for the kids, of course...


The best stuff I got was a bunch of crayons and pencil crayons and colouring books...

Actually, there are a lot of kids that show up here!

One little guy, especially, likes drawing so much, he copies my drawings (drafting) of simple house renovations...and he uses only pencils...like me...this kid could have a future in this...his momma concurs...

Almost all of the kids like drawing/colouring...and it's good education...expression...

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Old 07-07-2011, 08:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My Mum and Sister send lots of stuff like that at xmas and birthdays so we can mess about with that together and he *LOVES* Lego too.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am really happy for you mate. Enjoy the experience, don't try so hard at the start to be a good dad as you both will be learning about and getting used to each other.

If he's been with his mum without you I expect your boy probably has a few minor mums and dads (close family relatives) that have doted on him the Thai way. Your biggest hurdle at the get-go (maybe) will be gaining control back from the Thais.

Be firm but fair, again don't try too hard and enjoy the ride........I feel you will make a great dad.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwarner
because I keep sending Everton tops
He probably hates you, send him a manchester one whilst you still have the chance, sadly I'm not sure which Manchester one you should send him, if you get it wrong he may pay for a hitman to kill you, so be carefull
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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because I keep sending Everton tops
He probably hates you, send him a manchester one whilst you still have the chance, sadly I'm not sure which Manchester one you should send him, if you get it wrong he may pay for a hitman to kill you, so be carefull
ha ha - honestly, the last time i got him one (full kit) he opened it up gave a little smile and went (under his breath) "ugghhh ick leaw"

He was only 5 so i've learnt my lesson there.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am really happy for you mate. Enjoy the experience, don't try so hard at the start to be a good dad as you both will be learning about and getting used to each other.

If he's been with his mum without you I expect your boy probably has a few minor mums and dads (close family relatives) that have doted on him the Thai way. Your biggest hurdle at the get-go (maybe) will be gaining control back from the Thais.

Be firm but fair, again don't try too hard and enjoy the ride........I feel you will make a great dad.
Thanks for that.

It has crossed my mind, the Mrs. has photos of me up around the house and I talk to him regularly although he's at that age when he's only there to eat and sleep so i tend to get a "love you Dad" and he's out the door. In that respect I'm Dad and that's that. However, he's very close to two of his uncles and fair play to them they have treated him ever so well while i haven't been there. I'm prepared to just be there for a while until his focus shifts more to me. I certainly wont be going in with the attitude that I'm number one for him and what I says goes. I guess with a bit of time and patience that will happen naturally.

Although any time he wants a bit of pocket money in the future, he knows where his uncles are!

<ahem>
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Expect to make mistakes, a lot of them, but don't dwell on them. For the most part you'll make it up as you go along as we all do, comunication is key so one of you is gonnahave some reading to do and guess who it'll be but you sound like you're up to the job mate so don't worry so much, it's seat of your pants time buddy
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm looking forward to it, big time, but I've only just sorted everything out , i guess that inside, I've not been thinking about things too much - maybe as a way of coping with being apart from them. I'm booking a flight next week and the nerves are kicking in!!
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by alwarner
My lad has just turned 7
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his English is non existent
He should be fluent in Thai and English by now. For a kid to have an English speaking father and Thai speaking mother and not to be fluent in both languages at that age is a crime against the kid.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by alwarner
My lad has just turned 7
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his English is non existent
He should be fluent in Thai and English by now. For a kid to have an English speaking father and Thai speaking mother and not to be fluent in both languages at that age is a crime against the kid.
I've had this chat with the Mrs. believe me.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I've had this chat with the Mrs. believe me.
It will be a real disadvantage for him to be a Luuk Krung and only being able to speak Thai.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I've had this chat with the Mrs. believe me.
It will be a real disadvantage for him to be a Luuk Krung and only being able to speak Thai.
i know - and I'm guilty in part by not having been able to be there, don't get me wrong he can count in English and knows a few words but this is the major area I need to work on.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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i know - and I'm guilty in part by not having been able to be there, don't get me wrong he can count in English and knows a few words but this is the major area I need to work on.
Well it's a perfect chance if you can spend 12 months with him at that age. Between seven and eight years of age is meant to be the optimum age for a child learning a second language so I have been told by a number of people. You really want to try and spend as much time speaking English and not trying to speak Thai, the trick is getting him to feel comfortable speaking or trying to speak it. In terms of importance for learning, confidence outweighs ability by a long way in the early stages.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I've got a big job ahead of me, and the not speaking Thai will be difficult to start with because of the convenience of it, as rusty as my Thai is.

I don't know a lot about this kind of thing, but would having times of the day (meal times) where i only spoke English with him make it easier for him? To start with at least.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Take it a bit at a time. Yes, mealtimes are a great opportunity to do this. Just speak as you normally would to a child his age. Enrolling him in an EP school with native speakers will be a big bonus.

You should stick to speaking only English to him and his mom can speak Thai to him, but when the three of you are together, encourage him to speak English. You'll be surprised how quickly he'll pick it up.

Oh, also, look for good English books and DVD's for him. Kids shows like sesame Street are great. Games are a good idea too.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:08 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Thanks all this is exactly the kind of advice i need re the language problem.

I'll grab a few DVD's and stuff over the next couple of weeks to take with me what about online resources? I was thinking as well maybe I could merge learning English with playing with my laptop, he might respond well to that. Then again it might be too much fun and he'll want to be on it all the time!!!

cripes. so many angles to look at it from!!
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Get him a laptop. You should be able to get loads of programs on it too, to make learning fun
 
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