How does culture affect parenting styles?

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How does culture affect parenting styles? 1

There are many cultures and many religious beliefs we can find and all affect the parenting styles in their way. But studies have also found some common traits among all the parents around the globe.

Love, care, and concern is something that comes naturally when you bring a newborn into the house. And one day you become a responsible person and before even you know you are a changed person.

But the fact remains the same that society and culture change the way you think, act, and react.

And the cultural influences are carried to many next generations.

The main styles of parenting

The main focus of parenting is to give love and care, and enough space to children so they can develop healthy minds and great skills. Parenting is to provide a safe and best environment where children learn good qualities through experiences.

The parenting styles are mainly categorized into the following types:

1. Authoritative parenting

The parents with an authoritative parenting style show warmth and affection but set rules to follow to get organized. They chalk out the expectations and communicate them to children but also respect the children’s say in matters and their self-rule.

In this parenting style, the relationship between child and parents is more sort of give some and take some. The parents provide support and assistance through different phases yet teach them independence and skills to solve problems on their own.

This parenting style, when used with fewer penalties, is considered being the best style.

2. Authoritarian parenting

In this parenting style, parents mostly act like the owner of children and not the caretakers. They set many rules to follow and frequent punishments are used to ensure the obedience in the future.

They provide less support and affectionate concerns and are more concerned about disciplining the kids. With this rigid kind of parenting style, kids have no freedom of choice and their ideas and expressions are mostly suppressed.

It leads to depressed and anxious kids and they face many mental, physical behavioral problems.[1] The kids fail to build up good careers and manage difficult life situations.

3. Permissive parenting

Permissive parenting is great affection and nurturance with less parental control and importance. The parents with this style have the spotlight on children and do whatever they want.

Though they provide love and support they don’t provide a good structure to teach kids much life management skills. They don’t concentrate on disciplining the kids due to which kids are not able to perform better in education.

This parenting style is mostly seen in the middle-class than the families with both working parents.

4. Neglectful parenting

The parents who fall in this category are completely absent from their children’s lives. They don’t have a strong bond with kids nor a good parenting control.

They are emotionally absent, physically absent, and don’t even communicate with children about anything. These parents only provide the basic needs without realizing the mental needs of a child.

Due to negligence children become cowardly among peers, they are not at all competent; they don’t feel worthy. These children can easily become victims of bullying in society.

How does culture influence human behavior?

Now, first of all, I think it’s important to have a look at the effects of culture on human behavior from a general perspective. For that, we need to take an example of one or two cultures and see the outcome in the form of behavior.

Culture is everything from dressing, way of speaking, attitudes, temperaments, socializing styles to eating habits, and much more. Culture is an identity of a nation and represents it.

So if there are people from a culture where there is a belief of focusing on all the society and not just oneself you can find the following traits in people:

  • People take care of all the society more than thinking about their wellbeing.
  • Personal thoughts and freedom are mostly suppressed.
  • People are more confined in their own spaces.
  • People are more prone to give and less to take.

Now if there are people from a culture where there is a belief in individual personality grooming the following traits can be seen:

  • More openness of thoughts and ideas.
  • More ideas are shared among groups.
  • More personal dignity can be seen in individuals.[2]
  • People have freedom of speech and expression.

Shapes and tasks of cultural attitudes to parenting

We have learned the common and specific parenting attitudes across multiple cultures and they differ shapes with tasks in parenting. Here shape means parenting perception and exercises and tasks mean functionality, denotation, or motive attached to the shape.

So when any parenting perception or exercise serves the same purpose and represents the same meaning across all cultures it becomes common or universal around the world. For this, we take the example of how people adjust their talks to the level of children and make it simpler for kids to understand.

This is something that comes naturally with the little understanding abilities of children and so no culture can ignore it or change this norm.

Now there could be another exercise or parenting attitude that could be differently perceived in different cultures. For example, the authoritative parenting attitude is considered showing positive results in European and American children.

Whereas in some other countries like Asian, African American, authoritative parenting is perceived to be lenient. And thus authoritarian parenting is practiced to ensure obedience and rigidity of rules.

Future course in research for cultural dealing with parenting

It is crucial to study more about parenting perceptions and the parent-child relationship based on the upbringing style. It will help educators and psychologists to improve the parent-child evolution and make families strong and positively influential in various cultures.

The scientists and practitioners have found many and are still, in search of the best executions of parenting. Because different parenting practices can cause problems in many ways.

For example, when people migrate from one culture to another the parents are still expecting the same behavior from children. But it is very hard for children to mingle with their peers in a new culture staying on the same rules and expectations from parents.

Parenting is considered being different in mothers and fathers and also male kids and female kids show different outcomes. Still, mothers are considered being the first and most influential caregivers.

Sometimes caregivers are not relatives who spend most of the time with children. Now based on different caregiving systems there is a need to study the caregiving styles in research on parenting styles.

There is also a need to observe highly how parents provide an environment for children to bloom but also how children evaluate their parents’ attitudes and how they tune in with the parents’ practices.

Some examples of cultural effects on parenting

Below are discussed some cross-cultural effects on the style that parents adopt.

Mother only or numerous caregivers

Mothers are responsible for everything around babies, and they are naturally inclined to take the whole responsibility. But we see there are different mindsets in different cultures where caregiving is seen as follows:

  • So in some cultures mothers are supposed to be only a housewife and caretaker of all the matters related to house and kids. So we rarely see anyone taking care of children in the absence of the mother.
  • In other cultures, people share parents’ responsibilities. Such as uncles or aunts, grandparents or siblings, and if relatives are not nearby babysitters are given the responsibility of children for a whole day or half-day.
  • While in some cultures fathers are not only bread earners but they are equally responsible and they show interest in taking care of children in many ways.[3]

Different focal points in children early age

It is observed that Japan and the United States are close in modernism and living styles and both focus mainly on children. But mothers from these two cultures show different parenting styles when children are in their early childhood.[4]

Japanese mothers have always focused on full growth of emotions to cope with any kind of situation. They have always taught their children at an early age the tactics of self-control and to behave with good manners in the community.

While the mothers in the United States teach children self-esteem and personal freedom. They arrange social interconnection with children to promote confidence and independent choice.

Japanese mothers arrange social interconnections emphasizing closeness and a strong connection between parent and child.

The difference in expectations of milestones

In many cultures, parents perceive that every kid achieves milestones at their own pace and don’t push children in difficult activities but many other parents expect their children to show early milestone achievements.[5]

For example, in some cultures parents expect children to crawl a little later around 6 months. Then will move slowly towards the next milestone of walking around their first birthday.

Whereas, in many countries parents expect their children to sit on their own and then walk without any support within the first year.

On the other hand in some countries infants are supposed to be incapable of any kind of communication. In those cultures, children are just meant to lie down alone for many hours and parents think it is unnecessary to talk to them.

While in many countries parents think of infants as engaging partners and they talk to them, read stories to them, or have little activities with them.

Children rights come before parents

Another cultural impact on parenting style concerns children and parents’ rights. So in many countries like some European and especially the United States, children can call a corpse when parents touch them even once for the sake of discipline.

But in many Asian countries, it is normal to strike a little on the buttocks or back. It is normal to teach manners or parents’ respect.

Independence introduced at a young age

In Japan when children reach the age of 6 they start going to school on their own, traveling on public transport. The risk of crimes is very less so children are considered being safe as the public also keeps an eye on the children.

Moreover, children in school are taught about teamwork, and responsibilities with helping out in chores like cleaning classrooms, corridors, toilets. This is to emphasize on main characteristics to grow up as a responsible adult.

Young kids should nap in fresh air

This culture is seen in many nordic countries where during day time babies and toddlers are taken outside of the house for naps. It ensures that children get enough fresh air free of germs to develop a healthy immune system.

More free playtime

In Finland, children are given many breaks to get their minds away from learning and enjoy playtime. They are given less homework and are not forced into difficult learning syllabus.

Finnish schools focusing more on children’s physical activity throughout the day and exploring surroundings are ranked as the best educational system in the world.

Kids share everything at the table

In Italy, children are given a chance to take a little amount of wine at the dinner table with the whole family. This helps kids to not have drinking problems later in life.

What parenting practices are perceived as the worst?

Now there are many cultural differences in parenting styles but still, there are many parenting ways that are considered worst around the globe.

  • One of these worst parenting ways is blaming children for their mistakes completely. Though sometimes there is some underlying issue with parenting that makes a child revengeful.
  • Parents should avoid continuous dictation like 24/7 or zero involvement in the life of children, as parents brought kids into this world. So complete ignorance is the cruelest behavior ever.
  • No discipline at all is going to cause any problems for the whole society and we should be responsible for not making others’ lives miserable. So there is a need to correctly discipline the kids because the world is not only yours.
  • Fighting with kids or shaming them as you are talking to people of your age is not good. Where children are not able to understand this behavior they are traumatized by this situation.

They lose their mental stability and are never able to gain confidence when they grow up.

How do people manage the cultural difference in today’s time?

I have thought to discuss a very important point here, and that is how people today are managing cultural differences especially in the workplace. Why am I mentioning the workplace here because that is a place where we have no option to ignore the cultural differences?

So even parents are differently raising kids in different cultures when they all meet up in one workplace they tend to have some tremendous qualities in terms of keeping these differences away.

1. Teamwork

The best practice in the workplace is working as a team and focusing on combined efforts and struggles to achieve a goal. This is highly encouraged by employers and is the main reason businesses are always working either successfully or even just as they are wished to work.

2. Right attitude towards others

Another important quality that is required in each employee at a workplace is accepting and respecting different beliefs and ideologies. We should be open to feedback and discussions and not take anything seriously and personally.

3. Celebrate events

This practice is seen worldwide where all the employees working under one roof celebrate each other’s special events from their cultures. This way they get to know a lot about different cultural rituals and values and get along more easily and nicely.

4. Communication and sharing

Another important way to easily understand others and their differences is to communicate more. Share more and express more but nicely, in different situations.

This allows developing a good understanding and strong bonds that are required for making great teams and better performances.

5. Equal benefits and support

This one is very crucial and is the role to be played by the employers. Providing equal rights and support as per the cultural values keeps a healthy environment at the workplace.

It not only increases respect for the employers but also removes any kind of grudges between employees.

Conclusion

Every Human being is born with different qualities and different abilities. These humans interact to form communities and share their thought processes and shape the values, beliefs, way of life.

Communities are living in different parts of the world with different cultures. And cultures have deep impacts on people’s styles.

These cultural influences are not easy to be ignored as they are deeply rooted in civilizations now. The real and better need is to study various variables across cultures to bring people on the same page.

There is a need, and it’s also a responsibility of everyone to spread awareness about the right attitudes that we find the majority agreed upon. This will allow humans to forget about the bad behaviors and make this world an amazing place to live.

Children are like beautiful flowers, and we need to provide them the affection and love they need. So that they bloom fully and show the beautiful colors they possess.

Confining them in the cruel authority of parents will only lead to making this world as a whole an ugly place. We believe and hope that parents become more conscious of the parenting styles.

The complete responsibility of shaping a great generation comes not only on parents’ shoulders but the societies and communities as a whole. As the cultures are formed by many human beings and not only by one individual.

 

  1. Thompson, Anne, Chris Hollis, and David Richards. “Authoritarian parenting attitudes as a risk for conduct problems.” European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 12.2 (2003): 84-91.

  2. Lucas, Richard E., et al. “Cross-cultural evidence for the fundamental features of extraversion.” Journal of personality and social psychology 79.3 (2000): 452.

  3. Altintas, Evrim, and Oriel Sullivan. “Trends in fathers’ contribution to housework and childcare under different welfare policy regimes.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 24.1 (2017): 81-108.

  4. Rothbaum, Fred, et al. “The development of close relationships in Japan and the United States: Paths of symbiotic harmony and generative tension.” Child development 71.5 (2000): 1121-1142.

  5. Pachter, Lee M., and Paul H. Dworkin. “Maternal expectations about normal child development in 4 cultural groups.” Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine 151.11 (1997): 1144-1150.

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Author

Diana Lucas

Diana Lucas

Hi, Diana here. Welcome to my blog and hope you like my sharing. I am a mother of 2 boys, 3 years old and a 1 year old. I dedicate my career in child development research and I focus on parenting tips, positive parenting, educational toys for my babies. Your time here means a lot to me! Diana A. Lucas
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