Your family's cultural beliefs and traditions can greatly enrich your toddler's life. It's helpful to teach your child about other cultures, too - and to be clear about their impacts on parenting.
Parenting styles and expectations of children differ from culture to culture. What might be considered strict or respectful in one culture may not be the same for another. The value placed on children, the rules, and the role of relatives in raising a child can vary greatly. So can attitudes to discipline. In some cultures, parents, extended family and even community members may share responsibility for disciplining young children. In other cultures, only parents are responsible.
Parents and families should discuss their beliefs, practices and traditions around parenting and the meaning of family. Here are some tips for supporting healthy cultural diversity:
- Acknowledge and respect cultural differences. Listen to each other and try not to judge. Ask questions about what your partner and his or her family members believe and value.
- Think about your own culture and beliefs and ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do I parent this way? Is my position on parenting more "normal" than my partner’s?
- Do I believe something is important because it was traditional in my family? Is it really important?
- What are the long term consequences of my beliefs?
- Is my belief based on my own fears or my own experiences?
Resources & Links:
Parenting: Parenting Styles from Around the World