Parenting in Lithuania
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile now, you know that I wrote an article about Parenting in Slovenia. Now that we’re in Lithuania and we have an extra child this time around. thought it would be fun to write about my experiences in Lithuania.
Much like Slovenia, it’s not uncommon to see children Nolan’s age 9 walking to school by themselves or taking the bus alone. Kids have a lot more freedom in Lithuania than they do in the United States. Children in Lithuania also don’t start grade school until they are age 7 which is much different than the US at age 5.
The older boys attend the American International School in Vilnius, so they don’t see much difference in their lives in terms of school. Dean, or shall we call him Deanas (you add as on the end of male names in Lithuanian) attends a public daycare this has been GREAT for Dean and GREAT for me as it’s much cheaper than American daycare…we pay about $50 a month and that includes food.
Since attending Lithuanian daycare Dean has very quickly learned Lithuanian. He refuses to say “Yes” and only says “Taip” which means yes in Lithuanian. He doesn’t say “I want that” he says “nori” I could go on and on. It’s been a fun experience watching him learn a second language and really enjoying going to school.
Dean attending a Lithuanian school has also given me a little glimpse into the culture of being a mom in Lithuania. I must pack him a hat every day…this is something that isn’t practiced much in the United States. If your child doesn’t have a hat on going to school, you’re going to need to turn around and go get it. Lucky for me I live right next door…I might have forgotten his hat a time or two.
When Dean first started daycare I had to “transition” him to go everyday. This was VERY FRUSTRATING for me because Dean has no issues being left alone. I didn’t have a choice and humored them, I went with Dean for one hour on the first day, the next day we went together for 2 hours, you get the idea. Long story short on the 4th day I was like he’s fine I’m leaving. Sure enough…I was right, he was fine and they told me he could now start coming all day. This is a little bit different than how the United State’s daycares operate, most of the time you drop them off and run. However, I later learned that I believe it actually helped him. Out of my three boys he’s the only one that runs to school! We pass his school and he yells “Mom!! School!!”
Living in Lithuania with children has been AMAZING. Minus the big elephant in the room…cough cough COVID. Other than that I couldn’t be any happier raising my boys in Europe.