In a huffingtonpost article you can find a video (see here below) about how parents discipline their children across the cultures that made me decide to write this post. We all know that every culture has her own method to “discipline” the children and has different norms. (Personally, I don’t like the term “to discipline” because it implies a (usually physical) punishment, but that’s my point of view).
Especially in multicultural families parents are often on the crossroad over the discipline of the children. Some cultures (still?) use physical pain to teach or control behaviour.
This has changed in many western countries during the last 40 years and many children are now “used to time-outs and loss of priviledges” (0:46). More and more parents try to model the desired behaviour and encourage freedom of speech.
In Sweden a no-hitting law has been in effect since 1979, in 2009 the council of “Europe initiated a complete ban on corporal punishment in the home, school, penal system and care settings” (1:13). “By 2010 at least 22 members states, including Germany, had rectified the ban making it a criminal offense” (1:20), but “notable holdouts include France and the United Kingdom”… In the US it’s left up to each state to decide. In China and Japan, discipline and obedience are still pretty important. And “in most of Africa, physical force is the norm, although South Africa is joining” the countries who ban the corporal punishment.
We all know that this is a very delicate topic and for some of us it is a serious issue in their own multicultural family. With this post I don’t want to be judgemental towards other cultures and their ways to raise children, I’m just curious to know how multicultural families who have very different ways to raise their children, cope with this.
Do you experience big differences about how to raise your children in your multicultural family?
Especially during holidays when we visit family, we have to face different methods of raising children (not only regarding the topic of this post). – How do you deal with this and what are your advices for young families?
I would like to quote the speaker of this video who says at the end that:
“Perhaps we are asking the wrong question.
Is our goal as a parent to control our kids or teach them self control?
How do we raise a child capable of independent thought and action, respectful and mindful of others?
This little person will theoretically develop into a productive member of the society.
Is there an universal answer to such question across the globe or does it vary based on where you are raising your child?”