“THIS IS MY RESPONSIBILITY”: PARENTAL EXPERIENCE OF FORMER SOVIET UNION IMMIGRANT PARENTS IN ISRAEL
This qualitative study focuses on the parenting experience of immigrant parents from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in Israel. Seventeen in-depth open interviews with FSU immigrant parents were conducted. All participants had been living in Israel between one-and-a-half and five years and had adolescent children aged 11 to 17. The central theme that emerges from the interviews is the participants’ sense of parental responsibility, which is based on four central components: control, involvement, discipline, and parental guidance. Immigration challenges the participants’ abilities to fulfil their responsibilities as parents by exposing them and their children to cultural differences in child-rearing practices and language difficulties. Pressures of work and learning to live in a new culture may lead to a lack of emotional and physical availability to their children. Participants try to cope with these challenges by maintaining child-rearing practices used in the FSU. Many parents report this means of coping as unsuccessful and feel helpless and uncertain in tackling new parental dilemmas posed by immigration.
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