Americans call it Neglect, but Many Cultures Call It Parenting

parenting-stylesWe now accept Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Health Net Covered California plans.  Just like the various health care plans offered across California, there are just as many parenting styles.  There’s co-parenting, attachment parenting, authoritative and helicopter parenting; it’s enough to make parents’ heads swim.  Parenting styles research indicates, and experts agree, that there is no one universal type of parenting style that is better than another.  But as we look around the globe, certain parenting styles might make many American parents downright  flinch.

Here is a look at some of the ways other cultures parent that might make an American parent cry neglect:

In the book Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us, Dr. Christine Gross-Loh Ph.D., looks at parenting techniques across the globe from Finland to Germany to Japan.  Her goal was to examine the difference between American parenting styles versus the parenting of parents around the globe.  In addition, she also wanted to investigate how much influence culture has on parenting style.    Dr. Gross-Loh not only lived in Japan with her husband and children for five years, she also has a PhD from Harvard in East Asian studies.  Here is a just a taste of some of the findings in the book :

  • Japanese parents are somewhat lax about television watching and video games as compared to their American counterparts.   Would it surprise you to know that Japan has little violence or crime as a nation.   Violent video games and television programming is often blamed for the high crime rate in the United States, but as noted in Japan that doesn’t seem to be the case.
  • Japanese parents had a tendency to encourage their children to handle their disputes with each other rather than resorting to parent involvement.
  • Need another eye-opener?  Both Japanese teachers and parents ask their kids to reflect on what they could do better next time after completing a paper.    But American children are often asked to elaborate on what they did well.  A notable difference in the emphasis between effort and achievement.
  • Swedish preschoolers played within an “invisible” fence to encourage self-control.
  • Children in Finland begin their schooling at age 7.  They also have fewer academic classes and enjoy more recess.  Yet Finnish children achieve higher test scores and top the charts in achievement tests on an international level.  They also outpace children in Korea and Taiwan who attend 10 or more hours of class every day, six days a week.
  • According to Dr. Gross-Loh, American parents spend more money per child than any other country on the globe.  Blame advertisers or the media, but American parents are led to believe that if their children don’t receive the best whether its baby gear or toys, they’ll eventually lag behind in potential and academic skills.
  • Many Europeans and Asian parents believe that co-sleeping strengthens parent-child bonds, emphasizes community and is the basis for gaining independence.  The idea is to establish that “less is more” and that children are actually happier with less not more.   In contrast American parents, spend hours getting the baby’s room ready, and picking out the right baby gear just to spend more time training the infant to sleep through the night alone.

Lately, many media outlets including NPR, have been discussing global parenting trends and how they differ with the parenting trends in America.  Rather than make a distinction, the important overall theme is that we want what’s best for our children, and that includes their health care.

Dr. Reda and the staff of Newport Children now accept Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Health Net Covered California plans.  Regardless of trends, studies or research, we can guarantee that all parents and children will get the best of care at any of our locations.  Open 7 days a week, we offer comprehensive pediatric care for life’s little upsets and even those big emergencies.   Take a look around our site and get familiar with our many locations including Mission Viejo, Huntington Beach, Hoag and Fashion Island.   Contact us for an appointment at any time or your earliest convenience.