Recent research has identified parenting as a variation within a culture. Charles M. Super, a professor of human development developed the term ‘parental ethnotheories’ to help explain cultural differences in parenting. Parenting is known to vary within cultural groups and shapes things such as discipline beliefs, parenting goals, and developmental expectations. Parenting through different cultures also shapes things such as; attachment, independence, family structure, and health.
Looking outside of our own culture can help give us ideas on parenting that we may not have thought twice about before. For example, potty training starts at infancy in certain parts of Asia. Their reasoning behind this is independence enforcement. They believe that by the time the child is one years old, the child should not need their parents assistance for things such as bathroom help.
An abundance of international parenting practices may make parents in other parts of the world cringe, but perhaps these practices are worthy of a closer look. Parents in one country may not hesitate while spanking their children in public for bad behavior. However, parents in other parts of the world would consider it a crime and some would view it as a shaping their sense of authority.
In many countries including the US, parents pride themselves on being very independent and the only people helping them raise their children, if any, are the grandparents. In countries like Congo, it is normal for all women in the village to take care of other women’s children. This results in the children calling all the women “mama” and drinking breast milk from any woman in their culture. This helps shape the child to have a strong sense of community.
Cultural differences are also found in how parents manage difficult child behavior. Removing a child from adults for a period of time (referred to as ‘time-out’) is often seen in some as torturous for a young child. Sweden for example, has now banned such things as spanking and time outs. Yet, more than three quarters of Americans use the timeout method and believe it to be acceptable. For many countries including Americans, the idea of giving children alcohol is borderline child abuse. That same believe is not shared with the rest of the world.
In Croatia, studies show that parents are giving over many of their first graders alcohol approximately six or more times a month. Thirty percent of middle school boys in Croatia reported drinking alcohol at least six times a week. This cultural belief shapes a child’s health. These facts are a result of Croatian parents believing in the nutritional values of alcohol.
The move toward a better cultural understanding of parenting has brought awareness to important questions about parenting. What is normative parenting? What is good parenting? There is no right answer. A “good” parent in Africa could be seen as a bad parent in America and so on and so forth. Acceptance of other cultural beliefs and parenting styles is the first step to appreciation as well as comprehension. Comparison across cultures is also valuable. Awareness of alternative parenting styles also enhances an understanding of differences.
U.S. mothers are often thought of as being highly verbal and accepting, however, when compared to the rest of the world U.S. mothers actually fell at the bottom five for cultural parenting comparison. It is crucial to learn more about parenting and various cultures so that scientists and educators can effectively enhance parent and child development and strengthen families all over the world.
It is concluded that parenting beliefs and behaviors will differ according to cultural background as well as theFIX.. children culture. The diversity of different parental ideas should be liberating! One should not attempt to be a “good” parent based off society standards but of their own beliefs. From an objective standpoint, I believe that other cultures have the belief that a proper life of their child is guided by one’s own judgment and choices which they believe to be fit.