Our youngest son is Jared Martin. Jared is 7 years old now. Remember, I have lived here in the Philippines for 7 years, so as you can figure, Jared was very young when we moved here! Actually, Jared was one month and a few days old when we arrived in the Philippines as immigrants here. So, studying Jared and his development is very interesting to me, and presents me special challenges that I feel are important in his case.
Because Jared was so young when we moved, he basically has no memory of the United States. He claims that he remembers it there, but as we know that is really impossible. More about that later. Anyway, as Jared moved here at such a young age, I feel it very important that I take steps to make sure that Jared learns about American, and about being an American. He is, after all still half American, right? This means everything from learning about how Americans live, some US history and such, and that sort of thing. For me, the most important thing is American culture. Living in our house where both Feyma and I are very American, Jared has a good taste in American culture, though. Honestly, in his actions and such, I find him very American, and not much different from his brothers. I do have a rule that our kids can speak only English if inside the house. If they go play outside they can speak whatever they want (which means Cebuano!), but inside the house, they must speak English. I do this because it is important for these kids to keep their English skills up to date, and be proficient in American English. This may be very important for employment later in life, and I don’t want my kids to be behind their American cousins.
I mentioned that Jared claims to remember living in the USA. One time he told me that he remembers it, and I just played along with him. I asked him if he remembered “the time when the crocodile came into our yard and was trying to eat us, and then I wrestled with it, and scared it away?” Of course, he insisted that he remembered that, an incident which was just a joke that I made up at the moment! I played along on that particular story for several years before I finally told him that it was just a joke that I made up. He took it in good stride, yet still insists that he remembers living in the USA.
With Jared, I feel that my challenge in raising him is almost completely opposite of his brothers. With the other kids, they have memories of the USA, and with Jared, anything American has to be instilled in him. I want all of my kids to grow up being well rounded, and that is particularly challenging with Jared. So far, though, I feel that we have been very successful in raising Jared in this way.
In a lot of ways, Jared is very much like Aaron. That means that he is like me too, since AJ and I are so much alike. Lately, Jared has been growing a lot, and Feyma and I are a little sad that Jared is growing up and getting big. Our youngest is not so young anymore!
Jared is a great kid, and I love watching him as he grows! As with my other kids (including JeanJean), I am so proud to have Jared as my child!