Thursday, July 18, 2013
Cultural Differences in Parenting
I recently returned from a trip that included a transatlantic flight lasting almost 9 hours. I was seated behind a mother and her three children. I don't know for sure what her nationality was, but she was french speaking as were her children. She was a black woman and I know that there are parts of the world that speak french other than France, so I am not sure as to what her background was. I am guessing that her children were about 3 to 6 years in age. The youngest being a little girl and two older brothers. I was utterly amazed and captivated by these children.
Besides being incredibly cute, they were extremely well behaved, quiet and totally self-sufficient. Their behavior left me speechless. These three little children occupied themselves for the duration of the flight. There mother had not brought one item aboard the plane to entertain them. There were no backpacks stuffed with snacks, gadgets, and toys for their use. They buckled into their seats and explored the headphones and other buttons available to them. They napped or watched the video screens. When the flight attendants brought beverages and food, they politely accepted what was given to them and independently opened the packages and quietly ate the food items. Each one, at one time or another spoke to their mother but basically they kept to themselves and took care of their own needs. I was completely gobsmacked to watch the dynamics of this traveling family.
Have you ever witnessed a parent handling things in a manner that was very different from they way you would? Have you seen cultural differences in parenting? I would love to hear your comments on this interesting subject.