Every mother strives to be a good parent. However, there is no clear definition of the term “Good Parenting”. What’s one working mothers parenting mantra, might seem like parenting blunder and the sheer definition of poor judgment to another mom. As mothers, it’s common for us to want to be a good parent and this journey of good parenting has a number of highs and lows.
I read about parenting (a lot!), on one such I-can’t-sleep-so-I’m-going-to-read-till-2am reading sprees, I found a rather interesting blog post by QualityKG advanced preschool accreditation for best preschools and play school franchises. This QualityKG blog helped me understand how culture influences parenting.
Here are some remarkable facts that I found out through one of the finest preschool accreditation agencies:
The post was about Joan (a working mother of a 3-year-old daughter) and this is what she wrote – “Being the mother of a soon-to-be preschooler and raising her outside China, a country that influenced my own childhood – I have a lot of things to lose sleep about. There are times when I think about how I can raise a child who is not only well-mannered and polite but also someone who is smart, successful and kind.”
American Parenting Versus Chinese Parenting
She added – “Nowadays, I see my daughter run up to me after coming back from her play school franchise to show me her little book with stickers. I was intrigued when she told me that whenever she performs well or displays good behavior, her act is acknowledged by her teacher giving her a sticker.”
The teacher is following the American parenting style – the authoritative parenting approach, which is considered as the most suitable approach to parenting because it incorporates a lot of involvement from parents or teachers with a limited degree of control.
The authoritative kind of parenting style that many Americans adopt has a lot of emphasis on supporting children by hugging them, praising them or encouraging them to do better.
Chinese parents, on the other hand, believe in using the Authoritarian parenting style. They prefer to show less support, and they also monitor their children very closely.
The Confucian Philosophy
For Asian parents (Chinese mothers in particular), the Confucian philosophy forms the basis of education and child care. According to Confucius, an individual’s life isn’t meaningful unless he or she is educated through their hard work and efforts. Also, according to this philosophy, a child’s misbehavior is considered his or her parents’ mistake, as it is the parents’ duty to groom and teach the child.
The Chinese parents, who follow Confucius parenting, put tremendous emphasis on their child’s education, respect for elders and self-discipline. They are often seen spending their evenings and weekends taking their young ones to different activities and classes.
On the subject of Confucius parenting, Joan added – “While I was a child, I was always reminded of my responsibilities and duties towards my family. My parents were a lot more involved in my life and education as compared to other American families, wherein the parents gave their children much more independence, to tell you the truth this used to trouble me as a child.”
In western cultures, people give great value and importance to individualism. Their education system requires the child to express his or her ideas and opinions without any fear of judgment. However, in countries like China, and Japan, parents see individualism as a potential threat that might obstruct their child’s growth and cause them to fall short later in life.
Within an Asian family, wealth moves in a circle, first, from parents to children and then back to the parents from the children. In America, most of the wealth and assets move downward, and it isn’t considered the responsibility of a child to be financially responsible for their parents. In contrast, Chinese parents instill a sense of responsibility in their children from the very beginning. They teach them how to be financially responsible and constantly teach their children about the importance of taking care of parents. This sense of responsibility enables children to develop a sense of maturity at a very young age, which is why some children at the age of 14 years might have the acumen of an 18-year-old.
In A Nutshell
In the QualityKG preschool development program blog, Joan concluded by saying – “I was brought up with the Chinese culture, and it was my stay in America that taught me the wide disparities between the two cultures. Not only do they differ in history, religions and ideals but their parenting styles vary a lot too.”
With urbanization and migration growing at a rapid rate, the Chinese travel to America to live the ‘American dream’. This creates a sense of respect and conformity to the Americans way of life. This is one of the reasons why many of the Asian parents are now adopting the Western methods to their parenting styles. As far as parenting styles go, a culture that is influenced by such high ideals and rich values will always give a child better opportunities and culture in life.