Having an international perspective on some essential issues involving families shows how differently the same social institution can function in different cultural circumstances. In some countries, as mentioned in the blog on Tuesday, spanking is an accepted form of discipline and circumcision is a tradition expected to be followed for all generations. In other countries, these behaviors are considered abusive. When interacting with families from other countries, acknowledging these differences in beliefs could mean distinguishing abusive parents from caring, traditional parents.
It is easy to misunderstand the nature of families from unfamiliar cultures and origins. As discussed with the blog on Media, many television shows, news reports, movies, and other forms of media wrongly portray international families, or only portray a small percentage of the population. These messages the viewers receive influence how they perceive international families because they may display only the stereotypical aspect of the families or misrepresent or not represent some other families at all.
Throughout the week, the topic of self-esteem of children in different cultures was also touched on. The different child-rearing approaches, as mentioned in the introductory blog, have a major influence on the child’s development no matter what culture they belong to. It is shown that in different cultures, some of the traditions and structures of the families cause the children to generally have a lower self-esteem, while others have the opposite effect and the children develop positive images of themselves. Not only does child-rearing affect how the child will develop morals, norms, behaviors, and so on, but it will also have an impact on the child’s self-esteem in the future.
Another part of this week’s blog was discussing whether or not there are adversities to adopting babies from across our borders. One of the factors discussed was a family adopting a child who is of a different ethnicity and race. Many people and organizations are opposed to this thought because they feel that the child will lose their traditional values. Another key factor of adoption that was expressed was on how the child would adjust to the new family. It seems that even though a family may give their adoptive child love and affection, it is hard for many children to adjust to their new environment.
The last topic discussed this week talked about how international perspectives of child rearing are rubbing off on American parents. We have seen how the international influence has impacted the way American parents care for their children and even how parents name their children. The Baby Wearing technique as an example has made a noticeable surge amongst American parents.
All children across the globe are raised differently. I am sure that every single parent feels that they have their own individualized way at rearing their child. There are probably over a thousand variations of ways to raise a child. Although there may be many ways, there are also cultural norms that are followed by people of each country. A great article discussing this is: (http://www.babyzone.com/toddler/toddler_development/discipline/article/child-rearing-around-world) Child rearing is in my mind one of the most important worldly issues to be talked about. The future of the world relies on the children that each generation produces. Depending on how that child is raised often times foreshadows what that child may be like as an adult.
I challenge all those who have read all of this week’s posts to think to themselves on how this weeks blog has impacted the way they think on child rearing.
This post was presented by: Annika Ecklund, Carolyn Kaufman, Sally Pitcher, Stephanie Vassillion, Karl Daruwala, Elissa May
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