Can Philosophy Aid the Adjustment of Newcomer Children?


  • Parmis Aslanimehr


Introduction: The proportion of foreign-born population in Canada is at the highest it has been in 70 years. Such an increase in immigration is projected to account for 100 percent of the population growth by 2026.1 The children of families arriving from different parts of the world into Canada’s multicultural mosaic are commonly believed to have an easier time adjusting to their new conditions than adolescents and adults. This assumption further adds to an abandonment of inquiry into their experiences in adapting to their unique and, at times, complicated surroundings.2 Such a view likens the child of a newcomer immigrant family to the accompanying luggage, for they rarely have any say in the decision to migrate. As a result of this change to a new country, the stability in childhood can be lost: The domains of conflict common in newcomer households can involve levels of aggression, the importance of education, the preference for speaking English at home and sexual openness in youth.3 Notably, one in five children of newcomers, specifically visible minorities, tend to encounter discrimination and prejudice during their resettlement years in Canada. 4,5,6 Hence, their sudden encounter with the challenges that accompany settlement calls for special attention, notably because specific inner negotiations may be at play.