Three Points of Interest
The first interesting thing that I learned about parenting in non-U.S. cultures is the way they bring up their girl children. For Kazakhstan, I learned that girls aged seven years are trained to babysit small children and clean houses. Inasmuch as I considered this practice to be a form of child abuse, I was fascinated to learn the impact the practice has on the future of girl children in non-U. S cultures. In most of those cultures, I learnt that majority of women are effective in their house chores because they grow up practicing it.
The second interesting thing that I learned about those cultures is the manner in which different people are involved in rearing children. In China, I learned that grandparents are extensively involved in rearing their grandchildren. The same case happens in Philippines. However, if the mother stays at home, she takes care of her child. This is an interesting thing to me because it rarely takes place in USA. In U.S culture, almost everybody except the retired people is supposed to work. However, in some of the non-U.S cultures, women opt to stay at home to take care of their children. The same case applies to grandparents especially in China and Philippines.
The third interesting thing that I learned about those cultures is the strategies they use to bring up their children. For Kazakhstan, I was fascinated to learn that most of the parents do not expect their children to follow rules and obey them. Inasmuch as similar a practice is observed in different parts of USA, I do not think it goes to the extent of not setting rules for children to observe. In Kazakhstan, I think the practice has been exaggerated because children should be guided by rules thereby this is an interesting thing to me.
Three Surprising Observations
The first thing that surprised me was the lengthy period that majority of the women in those cultures had for breasting their children together with the lengthy maternity leaves. For Kazakhstan, I was surprised to hear that they breastfeed their children for at least one year whereas in Jordan they do it for at least two years. For the maternity leaves I was surprised to hear that women are never compensated during their maternity leaves. To me this was a form of exploitation that should not be encouraged.
The second thing that surprised me was the fact that most of the parents that talked to us share their beds with children. To me this was not the right thing because I expected children to have their own beds. Even if one would argue that the practice is good for nurturing children and breastfeeding them, I do not think that the practice is the right one because children can be nurtured and breastfeed without necessarily sharing bed with them. To make the matter worse, I was surprised to hear that parents in non-U. S cultures go to an extent of allowingpeople that babysit their children to share beds with their babies.I was surprised by this because I did not expect it to go to that extent.
The third thing that surprised me was the fact that Chinese grandparents babysit their grandchildren. To me it appeared that most grandparents do not have work to do and if they have work to do, they do not regard their jobs as we do in USA. Inasmuch I was convinced that it was a way of protecting children and ensuring continuity in the family, I did not like it. It is highly likely that majority of grandparents in China are not productive as they ought to be because they are focused on babysitting their grandchildren.
With regard to customs, I learned that women in Kazakhstan have the right to leave their jobs for three years to take care of their children, but during those three years they are never compensated. Inasmuch as women are at liberty of doing so, the fact remains the practice discourages women from taking the leave. Therefore, it is highly likely that majority of the women do not apply for such maternity leaves.
With regard to parental beliefs, majority of the women from non-U.S cultures believe that they can only take care of their children if they share bed with them. Although the practice is good for nurturing children, it may not be a good practice thereby it is a misguided belief.
In terms of setting, majority of those cultures are geared towards training girl children to becoming housewives because they literally ensure that girl children babysit small children and clean houses. By so doing, they limit girl children from pursuing big dreams.
After attending the panel, I was left with the following three questions. Firstly, I was left wondering whether parents from other cultures that live-in USA are able to embrace the U.S parenting practices given that they are used to their cultural parenting practices. And if they do, I wondered whether they follow those practices to the latter. Secondly, I was left wondering whether American people can learn a few lessons from those cultures, and if they can do whether some of those parenting practices can be applicable in USA. For example, I was left wondering whether American grandparents can be willing to babysit children like Chinese grandparents do. Thirdly, I was left wondering whether some of the parenting practices are real or just meant to sound different from U.S parenting practices. For example, I was left wondering how one can raise children without guiding them through rules and regulations.