The world is filled with an overwhelming number of cultural differences. Some of the many examples of these differences are; perception, behavior, gestures, and language. All of which can greatly affect professional and personal relationships. As the world rapidly becomes more diverse, the number cross cultural parents increases. Raising children in a cross cultural home is a job in itself. In some instances, parents may not be too different in their ways. In other situations, cultural differences may cause stress for not only the parents, but it can have a negative effect on the children.
Parents should have a plan of how they wish to raise their children. Taking into consideration their differences, morals, values, and goals, parents must make compromises if they want to be successful at raising children in a cross cultural home. Parenting requires skills. Most parents learn parenting practices from their own parents. Not all practices are carried over as some are brushed aside being seen as old fashioned or a refusal to be rasied the same as their parents raised them. Parenting methods are handed down through the generations, both desirable and undesirable.
These practices are cultural values which are handed down on from one generation to the next. Culture is the way a group of people act in their life, the values and beliefs that control their behaviors and determine what is acceptable and not acceptable. In African cultures, people perceive some of it’s cultural practices as being ancient. Nevertheless, parenting practices are still generally accepted when passed down to the next generation. In the African culture, the parents main focus is to lead their child to become a responsible adult.
There are various different parenting styles in which African parents bring up a child in order for the child to learn cultural values of the land and also be a responsible adult. Some of these styles involve story telling, the mother’s care, attention and love. Parenting in Africa is seen as the process of supporting a child from birth to adulthood which involves physical, emotional, social capabilities. In most of Africa, it is common for extended family to live in the same house so parenting can be to the biological and non-biological children. The extended family often provides emotional needs to all children in the house.
The entire family functions as a whole which provides economic, social and psychological security to all its members. The extended family provides for the early care and training of children. This same family teaches the social and moral norms, protects customs and traditions, and gives the children a large number of adult role models to follow. The older generation of family members often have dominance in the home as their word is usually respected. When mothers do not stay home with the children but enter the labor force it deprives the children of the proper desired upbringing.
When a mother stays home the child is breastfed for a longer time. This helps to develop a stronger bond between the baby and the mother. As the child grows, he/she sees this strong bond between the mother and himself, which carries over when they have children of their own. It is normal for another blood relative of the family (aunt or grandmother) to nurse a baby because there are usually no other food sources for babies available.. African culture and values see the mother as the keeper of the house.
She is a housewife and makes sure that as the father is the read winner, she must cater for all the domestic aspect of the children. Children are not usually described in development by chronological age but by physical and mental development. When a child chooses to leave the mother’s arms to sit by a sibling, the child is usually then considered to be independent and ready to take on chores. Many African societies do not endorse “play” as a beneficial because it serves no purpose. African societies place a remarkable emphasis is placed on learning to be obedient and responsible.
One of the first responsibilities given to a child is the running of errands. Practice for this important function starts as soon as a child can walk, at which time he is given objects to go and put in a specific place or to give someone in a very deliberate attempt to teach him to obey instructions. As soon as the child can talk he is given messages to transmit and errands to run in another part of the village or in another household. These get more and more complicated as he grows older, but he is always expected to carry them out seriously.
A child who fails to perform such tasks successfully is belittled and ridiculed by his peers as well as by adults. He thus learns at an early age that older members of the family and the community depend on him to be honest, responsible and efficient in carrying out duties. Often, children are told folktales which help teach them right from wrong, learn to be obedient, the importance of friendship, kindness and greed. In Japanese culture, a mothers focus on child raising is to make and keep a bond of dependency of the child on the mother. A child in this culture is taught to be dependent instead of independent.
Unlike other cultures where a mother encourages her child to dress herself or choose her own toys, in Japan, parents do most tasks for the child, even into the teen years. Japanese moms will decide the hobbies, education and career paths of their children. Because of this culture, Japanese children learn obedience and to rely on their mother’s direction. From birth, mothers create an intimatmacy with their baby and continue build that connection into the adult years. The mother’s ultimate goal is for her child to establish the same mentality.
It is tradition for Japanese moms to rely on the intimate bond they’ve established with their children instead of punishment, to keep them behaving appropriately. Mother’s spend most of thier time at home with their children in order to monitor communication, education, food, hobbies and even clothing. Children remain at home for most of the day and are taught to communicate frequently, honestly and exclusively with their mothers. Japanese parents are strongly committed to early education, which carries over into formal education. One of the main focuses of raising children in Japan is preparing them to succeed in education and profession.