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Another disclaimer is that wife and I possess no fancy degrees, official credentials or titles to qualify us as childrearing “experts”, bicultural or not. But what we have are two key credentials more relevant than any academic accreditation known to man.

Otherwise we’d run the risk of mixing languages in the same sentence, a no-no we’ll cover later.

For practical reasons and by default, wife and I (with few exceptions) have always communicated with each other in Japanese.

The universe was sending me a message: it was time to move on to more familiar, grammatically greener pastures.

Next stop, Suburbia Chicago where we bought a 1,260 square-foot cookie-cutter house in a soulless, antiseptic neighborhood about 45 minutes northwest of Chicago.

Disclaimers and Full Disclosure Let’s get this out of the way: no preaching, no pontificating. If anything, my goal in writing this is to help two-culture parings of parents better define their own “current situation”, by sharing what my wife and I learned through the years.

In the end, parents are responsible for drawing their own conclusions, and deciding what works best for them.

Blessed with some of the best public schools in the nation, my sons shared an educational experience with students of various economic strata, from poor to middleclass to rich.

Their friends were from multi-racial backgrounds including Caucasian, Black, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Hispanic, Chinese and more. (Seems like forever ago right now.) We did our best to discourage materialistic thinking at home.

(Their typical response: “Dad, why are you speaking Japanese to me? ”) It’s worth addressing a popular myth in Japan that says raising children bilingually will “confuse them”.

I’m happy to report that there are enough well-adjusted, bilingual folks in the world to thoroughly debunk this myth.

Before You Have Children My wife and I started discussing long before our children were born, how we planned to raise them.