The ups and downs of living with a teen

Parental Differences in Other Cultures

All around the world, parenting customs vary in style and much of it comes from the culture in which the child and, ultimately, parent grows up in. For example, the style of parenting that you may expect to find in North America will vary differently from that in the Far East.

By and large, your parenting style will be based much on your conditioning as a direct result of the environment that you grew up in, as well as the environment that you currently live in. For example, you would be right to assume big differences in the style parenting during the middle of Ramadan in the Middle East and at Thanksgiving in the United States. But, what are the parental customs that you could expect to find around the world?

The UK

We will start in the United Kingdom, where British parents are generally regarded to be some of the best communicators with their children. It is not unusual for parents to rationalise with children, laying out very clear boundaries. As well as telling children what they can and cannot do, British parents will explain why children should and should not do certain things, laying out a clear step-by-step explanation to the child.

The Far East

In the Far East, in countries such as China and Japan, parenting customs may be regarded as somewhat pushy in western culture. In these countries, children are encouraged by their parents to be the very best that they can be, driven to achieving the best results possible. It is also very common for grandparents to be very active alongside the child’s parents in helping to raise them. Chinese culture, in particular, relies hugely on the support of its elders, while the relationship between parent and child is much more formal than what is considered to be the norm in the UK and United States.


In the United States of America, parenting customs are not overly dissimilar to the British. The main disparity between American and British parents is that the former generally expect the child to grow up much more independently than other western countries. For example, self-reliance forms a major part of traditional American parenting, with parents often allowing babies to ‘cry it out’ instead of tending to them and attempting to calm them down, as you might expect in other culture.

The Middle East

Middle Eastern culture varies greatly from that of the west, and so, too, do parental customs. Much the same as the Far East, the culture shows a lot of respect for its elders, with it being common practice to greet people in terms of age from eldest to youngest. It is also no secret that much of the region’s culture is built upon religion, with Islam being the most prominent of the religions amongst Middle Eastern countries. As part of this, parents teach their children from an early age about religion and its practices, encouraging children to take part in Ramadan festivities such as fasting (once they have reached the suitable age) and teaching the value of giving to charity, which forms one of the five pillars of Islam.


 In France, parents are generally seen to be more disconnected from their children than other cultures. It is not common for French mothers to speak much about the development of their children to others, as is common in the UK and USA. Parents in France are seen to be stricter than others in western countries, but there are similarities in the way French and American parents expect children to be independent and self-reliant.

With more and more people travelling and working around the world, sampling different cultures, parenting styles will continue to evolve for many years to come, forming the foundation of the next generation.

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