Parenting styles in United States

As much as we think we are informed about parenthood, the way we raise our offspring is very atavistic. Nobody is surprised that parenting varies in each culture, but it is curious to what extent it differs in countries that, in social and economic terms, are very similar. Every society has beliefs about the correct way to educate children that make up what are called parental ethnotheories. This set of beliefs, which are transmitted from parents to children, are much more powerful than we think. As much as we think we are original, we are educating our children following a social conviction.

American parents always speak of their children as intelligent and even «cognitively advanced.» Some classify them as «rebellious», a characteristic that is seen as positive in childhood. As American parents believe that intelligence is the most important attribute, their education is based on seeking activities that stimulate children, trying to make each moment an educational challenge, something that has pros and cons, insofar as the overparenting, parental overprotection. Something that occurs a lot in the United States is the presence of children’s schedules, where children have their day full of activities to do not only to keep them busy, but to improve their skills and provide them with better opportunities in the future. Protection and laws are in favor of the care of children, among which we find laws such as:

  • In the United States, parenting laws state that young children and infants cannot be left at home without the presence of an adult. In most states, children over the age of 12 can care for their younger brothers or sisters.
  • You can get into trouble with the government if you leave your children alone in your house or apartment.
  • If you work and have small children, you will have to pay for your children to attend daycare or have a babysitter. The government checks daycare centers to make sure they take good care of your children.
  • If you don’t have enough money to pay for a babysitter or daycare, you may be able to do an «exchange» with another family. On certain days, you could take care of the children of a family and on others, that family could take care of yours. You could find a mother or father in your community who can take care of your children.
  • The national HeadStart program offers child care and preschool education to low-income families.

In America, many parents and teachers let children know when they have done something right. Letting your children know how satisfied you are with them will help them to have a good relationship. We could say that this is a general trait for all cultures, but not all of them have the same level of respect and care for children.

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