It’s easy to fall of the trap of thinking that our cultural norms surrounding parenting are universal all over the world, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.
The odds are pretty good that the people in your life were raised similarly to the way that you were (especially if you are still living in the same area that you grew up in), but there are a multitude of different parenting styles around the world that would look completely alien to each of us.
Different Parenting Styles in Different Countries
Below we dig a little bit deeper into how families all over the world approach parenting, helping to shine a light on some of the cultural differences that impact parenting styles.
Let’s get right to it!
Parents in Denmark Leave Infants Outside While Shopping or Dining
Believe it or not, in some parts of our world, it is anything but uncommon to go out to eat or go shopping with babies – infants – and leave them (inside of their stroller) outside while you and the other adults or older children had indoors.
Denmark in particular has a culture where this is extremely prevalent, with most parents never blinking an eye at the idea of leaving their babies outdoors and unattended while they go inside to shop or to eat.
Most of the strollers are outfitted with high-technology baby monitors so that parents can keep an eye on their little ones, but this kind of behavior would seem almost criminal in some cultures (like the United States, for example).
Parents in Asia Let Their Children Stay Up Late
In Hong Kong, India, and Taiwan (as well as a number of other destinations throughout Asia) it’s not unusual for parents to let their children go to bed considerably later than what might be understood to be normal in other parts of the world.
For example, parents in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States regularly report an average bedtime for young children as being 7:30 PM. In Asia, however, the average bedtime for young children sits around 10 PM – with some children staying up even later than that.
Parents in Italy Give Children Wine with Dinner
While the legal age or purchasing alcohol in most European nation (including Italy) is 18 years of age, it’s not at all unusual for preteens and teenagers in Italy to get a glass of wine with dinner when they are eating with their family or friends.
Italian parents are very comfortable with their young people having a little bit of wine with their meal, and interestingly enough some research conducted in Europe shows that this kind of “casual imbibing” even by young people significantly reduces the odds of substance abuse issues later down the line.
Parents in Sweden NEVER Spank Their Children
Sweden became the very first nation on the planet to outright ban and criminalize the act of spanking children as a form of discipline back in 1979. While the active spanking has definitely tapered off with this most recent generation of parents, Sweden took things another step further by making a cultural decision to stop corporal punishment entirely.
There are a lot of cultures around the world that still consider corporal punishment and spanking a key part of disciplining young people, though, and this kind of step would be seen as almost unbelievable by those parents.
Mothers in Bulgaria Get 410 days of Maternity Leave
While mothers in the United States, for example, might only get six or eight months of maternity leave after they have had their baby, mothers in Bulgaria get 410 days of maternity leave with each child – enjoying 90% of their original pay in the lead up to and after the birth of their child.
On top of that, after a child has reached six months of age the maternity leave can be “transferred” to the child’s father and they can enjoy the remainder of the 410 days of leave as paternity leave – with the same 90% of their original pay before leave took hold.
While there are some significant cultural differences that heavily influence how parents around the world raise their children, the one thing that cannot be argued is that all parents want the very best for their kids and will do anything they can to raise them to lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives!