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 Parents in USA - Best timepass
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Posted on 08-02-10 12:36 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Hey Guys,
     I recently got my parents their green cards and now they are here to try out a new life with me. They aren't that old (late 50's) and tend to get bored around house during the afternoon and I've been trying to find something that they can get involved in so they can pass some time easily. The only problem is they can't drive so they are kinda stuck without a ride (public transportation is a bit far from where I live).
I'm sure some of you guys also have your parents here. What do you guys do to keep them occupied? Any ideas?


Posted on 08-02-10 12:57 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Getting your parents to US is a double edge sword. While we (younger generation) can barely get used to live in the US, it will be very hard for them. Those 2 culture are on the opposite side of the pole. Many of the Nepali in the US can bring their parents just like you but choose not to cause they will die here out of boredom. There will be very few things they can do even if they were to drive around. Life without work is simply unimaginable. Depending upon the age and their willing to change, if they do get a regular job, it might work the best.
Not to discourage you, it is good that you want them to "try".
If you can elaborate on your place and the city, we probaly can add more ideas. Local churches will always have activities and volunteering job which can keep them busy. But if they're biased towards Christianity, then forget about it. Local library is a good place to hang out and read book or even work part time, look out for volunteering and charity works. I see lots of old Indians working at Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc
Depends on your life style. If you own a damn big property, hell, get them to garden. Make sure then get plenty of "walks" that will keep them healthy, they got all the time.

Posted on 08-02-10 12:59 PM     [Snapshot: 47]     Reply [Subscribe]
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i would suggest you to open a  child care center. if you think about it now, you will all be set up within  a year or two. one of your parents need to go for a month or so long training, get a licence and start with couple kids in the begining. within 10 years, they will establish a good business of your own. you will be retired soon!!!

Posted on 08-02-10 1:17 PM     [Snapshot: 74]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Thanks guys for your suggestions. I do take them to walks in the evenings to get some exercise and will probably join the gym for winter. Opening a day care could be an option, but it's a big liability. It's someone's kid in your house for the whole day and if something happens to them, it can be a big hassle.

I'm looking for something that's not too stressful on them. I will go check with some local churches to see what they have.
How about a small business? I wouldn't care for making money from that but at least that breaks even.

Posted on 08-02-10 1:32 PM     [Snapshot: 62]     Reply [Subscribe]
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1. Get a grandchild for them ASAP.
2. Teach them how to use Skype, use Facebook Chat so that they can communicate to whoever back home at their convenience.
 3.If i were you i would buy a desktop computer and hook it up to the TV and bookmark web links so it would be easy for them to access any movies, "aastha" channel , Nepali TV, Even any religious program from all over the world.
4. See if you have a Nepali neighbors around you. Try to establish a good relationship with them and invite them for dinner once a while. This would help your parents meet new faces and enable them to visit the neighbors by themselves. Even inviting coworkers to dinner might help.
5. Volunteering is not a good option because of the language barrier and our parents will be reluctant to communicate with people from here. 
6. Try to see if your community resettles refugees. Bhutanese refugees who share exactly same culture and language as us would be best for your parents. See if you have these refugees resettled in your area.
7. Take them in a long drive (at least more than an hour of driving) every other week.
8. Download food recipes written in our language and ask them to give a shot when bored.
9. Visit to a local park in the evening with parents.

I know you have to invest so much time and have to take care of them like kids. But they are your parents. Thats exactly what they did to you when you were young. 

Posted on 08-02-10 1:51 PM     [Snapshot: 149]     Reply [Subscribe]
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If you are thinking about some small business, how about Flea Market, Farmer's Market, which are seasonal and weekends. Get Nepali handicrafts and be able to sell them might be another options. But if you if are planning to keep your parents here for a long time, then social interaction skills is a must, whether they like it or not, which all depends on how much educated they are back home and their willing to change. So volunteering is the "only" best way to learn, not through books, internet, or TV.
Day care is out of your league, it is very complicated, period.
If you're in a descent size city, there will be a lots of program for minority and immigrants which you can get all the info from the city office. There will be free ESL and lots of other activities for FREE. Use the best of the green card, free American public services. If you dig deep, there are many. Remember, your parents have as much rights as a citizen to rip those benefits.God bless America.
Last edited: 02-Aug-10 01:52 PM

Posted on 08-02-10 3:14 PM     [Snapshot: 268]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Excellent thread, I must say. Bringing parents who lived most of their life in Nepal and make them feel USA home is never ever easy.  Libraries, churches, volunteering - yes there could be options to mingle and be sociable but for how long? Unless one is seriously into it, it becomes monotonous overtime in many ways. Call me skeptic, but it is not gonna work in the long run for old people. Most of the first generation Nepali who went to a college here, and who have been working for years have a pretty miserable social life here amidst work pressure and lack of like-minded people in the community or the city they live. And for someone who had a decent career in Nepal (say as a bureaucrat) which gave them recognition among their peers and natives, for someone who is a social butterfly in the social realm of Nepal, coming to the US at old age and trying to be a part of the community here is many folds more difficult.

Old age is time people would want to spend in peace and tranquility, may be by engaging in some religious activities that can connect them to like-minded people, or by doing something in the community where they lived their life, with the ones they know and can connect with  howsoever small in number they may be.  Most of the old americans prefer laid-back life in a remote city in south (in some bible belt). It's the same with our parents and grandparents who spent their entire life in Nepal. US and its 9-5 working lifestyle would be an emotional trauma for them in the long run. 

Hope you won't take this post too negatively. All the best!

Posted on 08-02-10 6:51 PM     [Snapshot: 451]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Getting parents to learn and live in US is bit challenging. Firstly mainly due to language barrier and secondly due to boredom caused by loneliness.

My advice to you
1. If your parents want to work, see if anyone around your community needs baby sitter. (This might later turn into boredom as well or some parents will not like to do this because they already babysat you and your siblings for long enough)
2. I don't know about your location, but there is a cable receiver you can buy that transmit Nepali and Hindi Channels all day thru internet. (Nepali channels include - NTV, Image Channel and some very local channels in Nepal). Or even dish network gives you Hindi Satellite channels (Sony, Zee and what not)
3. Try to find local Nepali organizations around you.
4. If you are far from big cities - try to relocate near big cities so it is more closer to Asian communities.
5. Take your parents for outing, camping, hiking on weekends and if you can take 2-3 day off during month and take them to different states (to see Mount Rushmore, different state parks, NewYork city, florida, Las Vegas......... on and on)
6. Think if its time to have grandchildren
7. Teach them to drive (enroll them in driving school), so that atleast they have option!
8. Teach them English if they don't know yet (they are classes in community or if your workplace is diverse and big they often provide their own english classes)
9. Spend time with them after work.

Hope this helps

Last edited: 02-Aug-10 06:52 PM
Last edited: 02-Aug-10 06:55 PM

Posted on 08-03-10 8:26 AM     [Snapshot: 743]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Thanks guys for your suggestions!!

Posted on 08-03-10 10:00 AM     [Snapshot: 811]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Make them play cards ! Teach if necessary. If that is not possible teach them how to play Zynga Poker in Facebook. Once they get a knack of this game they will beg you to leave them alone in the house !
BTW, which state are you located, Dipshikha ?

Posted on 08-03-10 3:31 PM     [Snapshot: 1030]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Yeh hai ZEE TV!!

But I am guessing you already have that. I heard Kantipur TV is coming soon but they have been saying that for more than 5 years now. These channels are a good time pass specially for moms.


You might want to get them into Yoga or the art-of-living or something like that. It might be a good time pass and improve their health as well.


Like somebody suggested, library is not too bad. If you have a good Nepali community around, get them involved. Baby sitting for the Nepali community might be lesser hassel than doing that for others.


Posted on 08-03-10 5:21 PM     [Snapshot: 1087]     Reply [Subscribe]
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How long are you planning to have them here? Hope not very long.

I have a neighbor, a good engineer friend who makes 100K+. He brought his mom to look after his kids. The kids are absolutely adorable, and they like their grandma, but they are also playing all the time, and making a lot of noises all the time. My friend too loves his mom, keeps on asking her about her wellbeing, and takes her to go around during the weekend, or whenever he can.

But one day, the mom told me that she absolutely misses her home back in Nepal. Even the temples. The neighbors. The satsanga group. The facility of being able to buy vegetables and fruits at her will. (She is widow). Her other grandchildren from daughters' side. The boredom was killing her soul. She also felt she was becoming sick more often, eventhough it made her sound like hypochondriac in our eyes.

Zee TV, playing cards with indian neighbors who were his age was my father's pastime here, but he always goes back after a few months. (He has visited me thrice here already.) My father loves travelling, but he has not shown much interest in coming here after his third trip (it has been a year). My mother hates the long travel and endless transit. I can't imagine them spending even a few hours at Christian's church, btw. They don't understand English, and in any case, I used to visit the Church for chicks, but I have grown to dislike their pushy attitude. May be you have better nonpushy church nearby, but I was in a situation once when my father was telling a church visitor  that all religions are equal and the man was saying him that it was absolutely necessary to be a Christian to go to heaven and I had to interpret it.

Posted on 08-03-10 6:00 PM     [Snapshot: 1113]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Pire, didn't wanted to drop anything on sajha but after reading your last paragraph, i just couldn't stop myself sharing something. What happens to your dad happens to me too when i went to the church. I went to the church with my co-worker thinking that i might be able to build up some networking and just to experience new thing and not to forget to look for girls too and i met a guy who start preaching about the religion. Well i am neutral person, i believe in every religion, every god. I don't mind reading Bible or Quran, to gain some more knowledge but he start giving me bullshit saying that chritianity is the only religion and Jesus is the only god. If i do not become Christian, god won't forgive my sins and all those bs stuffs.. Though i sooo wanted to say him F*** you and your god ,well that was a church so i control myself. I so don't understand why these American thinks that their religion are the only best religion and even some muslims also thinks the same.. Don't know when they will be able to change their streotype mentality..

Posted on 08-03-10 9:10 PM     [Snapshot: 1224]     Reply [Subscribe]
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What about of "Parents in USA" do you not understand from the title of the thread? His parents are already here, so preaching and stirring fear is NOT the answer he's looking for. If you have experience of how you kept your parents busy while there were in the US, please feel freeto share your experience, else shut up.
Going to church to pick up chicks is like a blond guy with blue eye going to Pashupatinath to pick up a Nepali chicks. At least the Church will allow you in, Pashupatinath does not allow anybody in who is not Hindu. Pushy and stubborn believers esp old folks are in every religion.
So if you get, once in a while, some pushy believer, just ignore him/her. Tell him kindly, I'm not interested. That will do it. They will not force a gun on your head. Just rip all the free stuff and the benefits the Church provides and go home. Try to stay away from Catholic and Mormon church, rest should be fine.

Last edited: 03-Aug-10 09:10 PM
Last edited: 03-Aug-10 09:16 PM


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