Learning About Parenting From Other Cultures

By Ron Jimenez

Special to High Desert Daily

 

(Victor Valley)–Different cultures regularly practice different norms, beliefs and languages. Though it might not be readily apparent to those of us who live in a country as expansive as the US, it is an ubiquitous factor to global society. Among these differences is how a parent raises his/her child, or parenting styles for short. Although they may vary, mankind does have universal standards as to what is a generally accepted parenting practice. That said, some parenting styles are accepted by some parts of the earth, yet are neglected or refused by others. Nonetheless, each culture has some parenting values you can learn and benefit from. And in today’s era, where millions of people travel to foreign countries every year, these cultural differences are starting to piece together like a puzzle. Here are some clear-cut examples that international travelers are likely to see.

 

Authoritative Parenting

This style of parenting is commonly seen from Europeans. Parents from Europe often establish close relationship with their kids. They treat them warmly, but maintain control and stay observant at all times. These parents are also very supportive when it comes to what their kids want as expressed by praise and affection. They, however, limit this support by stating expectations regarding behavioral patterns. Proponents of authoritative parenting usually point out that children who are supported across their teenage years are less prone to developing delinquency and depression hence it makes for a good parenting style.  

 

Authoritarian Parenting

Conventionally authoritarian parents are common to find in east Asia. These parents often seem to show less physical love and affection to their kids. This is called authoritarian parenting. These kinds of parents are very stringent and usually do not outwardly seem emotionally supportive to those from other parts of the world, such as North America. Though this style might be hard to understand, many point to how Asian teenagers consistently score higher on standardized testing and become more successful economically than those growing up in the US.

 

Acculturation

When two or more cultures connect through someone being consumed by a foreign culture, the norms and values that results may be different from what one might expect. This is because it is often difficult for foreigners to keep their cultural values when being encompassed by new parenting styles. Research shows that newly American fathers who were also Muslim remained less accultured were more strict with their children as opposed to other long-time American parents of the same Islamic background.

 

Parent Circle

If this topic really interests you, you should check out this magazine. Parent Circle is a well-known publication that discusses lifestyle changes via exposure to different cultures worldwide. Parent Circle focuses on topics like school and adolescence. The magazine currently publishes in the English language, but often tackles parenting cultures practiced in India. Reading the magazine for the first time, you’ll find recipes, religious discussions, parenting strategies, school, games and further on.  

Why should you learn about different parenting cultures? This is mainly to improve the way you manage your children and to better understand their needs, feelings, and wants. Simply basing your parenting style on how your parents treated you is inadequate and irresponsible. Learning different parenting practices from various cultures will give you balance and harmony. Of course, it’s completely up to you to choose which practices you are going to live by.

  • Ron Jimenez is a traveling nurse who focuses on parenting, counseling and international health. His most recent work highlights 30 Great Blogs for Nurses

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