Tatiana Morosyuk immigrated to the United States from Russia and built a new life. Today her family is thriving in the Plano-North Dallas area. Morosyuk shares why there’s nowhere else on earth she and husband Dmitry Buriko want to raise Nathan, 12, and Natalie, who had a unique 10th birthday this fall.
Both my husband and I moved to the U.S. in the ’90s from different parts of Russia.
We met in Detroit, where our son Nathan was born in 2007; we moved to the Dallas suburbs in 2008. Our daughter Natalie was born two years later in 2010. (It was on 10-10-10, at 10:10 am, and she turned 10 this past October!)
We could not have been more fortunate to have our kids raised not just in this country, but also here in North Dallas, a family-friendly community with a booming economy. We consider our kids fully “Americanized”—public schools, multiple sports, a shortage of vegetables in their diet (unfortunately) and freedom to choose their extracurricular activities.
It’s hard to talk about yourself in times of a global pandemic, natural disasters, social controversies and political uncertainties. My background and family history fade away and seem insignificant.
All families and parents are the same right now: fighting to survive and stay sane, counting the days until this year is over, questioning their decision about remote or face-to-face school choices, and trying to stay healthy.
There is no shortage of criticism on American parenting in the media. Everyone else seems to get it right, from Tiger Moms to the French, so I wanted to remind DFW parents about things Americans do right.
First, you are generous, hardworking, positive and kind. My husband and I had to build our lives and careers here from scratch. Everyone was very supportive—our employers, co-workers, neighbors, friends, college professors and fellow parents. You’ve believed in us, opened doors to your homes and your hearts, and helped with whatever you could.
Good people mean capable parents with high values to pass on their children. I get upset when I hear (no matter the content) someone suggesting Americans are insensitive, biased, greedy, discriminatory or ignorant. U.S. citizenship wouldn’t be so sought-after if these things were true, would it?
Second, you love sports. So do we! Sport teaches our kids teamwork, discipline, commitment, work ethic and, most importantly, it teaches our kids to handle a loss in a way that makes them more resilient and stronger.
It’s rewarding to see our children grow and develop emotionally in a way they cannot develop inside a classroom. Sports should not replace academics, but at the end of the day it comes down to parents’ own definition of success. For us, emotional intelligence, resilience and leadership skills are on the same level as academics.
I also want to recognize an American phenomenon known as parent-volunteer-coaching. You contribute the most valuable resource—time—and spend countless hours teaching kids and devoting as much time to someone else’s kids as your own. You are the most under-recognized philanthropists in the world. To all coaches and assistant coaches who touched our children’s lives over the years, thank you!
Third, you allow your kids freedoms to choose activities. This promotes creativity. Remember what made this country the No. 1 economy in the world: inventions and creativity. Kids should be allowed to make their own decisions, when possible, and learn from the consequences of their decisions. Obedience does not promote decision-making abilities that will distinguish leaders from followers later in life.
Despite what some say about America, there’s no other place on Earth I would rather be raising my children! I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished here.
They struggled through the pandemic but adapted to the situation faster that we did. They have good grades in school and, on top of sports, continued their studies at Russian School of Math (RSM) in Plano. Nathan was able to skip seventh grade math and is taking Algebra honors now, and Natalie had a very successful year competing; she ranked No. 1 in the state of Texas and nationally in Math Kangaroo, received two NOETIC National Honors Roll medals and was the part of the Team Winners in both the fall 2019 and spring 2020 competitions.
We love you, Americans. Stay who you are, stay true to yourselves. Don’t believe everything you read and hear. Critics, obviously, haven’t lived on the other side of the fence.
Photo courtesy of Marina Kay Portraiture.