They are many types of parenting, whether we like it or not, we tend to inherit our parent’s parenting style; the way we were raised. Living in Asia and being raised in a predominantly Asian household with Asian values, we tend to use the “Asian” approach with a modern twist.
Asian vs Western Parenting
Harith Iskandar’s take on asian vs western parenting is definitely apt!
Like ‘The Battle Hymm of The Tiger Mother by Amy Chua’, we can all relate to having parents like Chua or being a Tiger Parent like Chua. One of the reasons why Asian children are under so much of pressure is because Asians are the largest race of people on Earth and being the largest race, competition is stiff, we are constantly scrutinised and compared to every other Asian in the world.
Here are some ways where parenting styles differ from an Asian parent to a Western Parent.
Growing up, we were taught to obey the “rotan” (Rattan cane) which was heavily used at home and in schools to enforce discipline. The cane was used whenever we messed up, or if we dare to even think about it. Punishment was inevitable, we got yelled at and caned whenever we did anything wrong. Punishment always hurt.
Unlike in the Western world, punishments were mostly “Time Outs” where children were separated or deprived of play to spend some time alone “reflecting what they did wrong.” They believe that children shouldn’t feel pain because pain is detrimental to a child’s emotional development, and in some Western countries, hitting a child is against the law.
Asian parents are really strict when it comes to education. To them, education equals a bright future for their child and from a young age, competition is inevitable between siblings, cousins, friends, family friends, and Asian parents tend to compare their child to every single other children out there.
Hence, from a young age, children are being sent to maths class, tuition class, language class, music class and all sort of classes to increase their employability rate once they become an adult.
Western parents on the other hand, are more lenient when it comes to their child’s education. To them, pressure from schools are detrimental to their child’s development and they believe in a more holistic education where children are given situations to explore and develop their individuality, hence, new trends like “World Schooling” according to The Guardian and this family of 8.
Western parents tend to emphasise on self-development rather than academic success and even though, there’s no research to support either one of these learning styles.
Life At Home
In a typical Asian household, Asian children are expected to do their chores and help around the house. My brother and I were already ironing our school uniforms, sweeping, mopping and cooking by the age of 12. Other kids are expected to help with the laundry and are taught to clean and care for themselves, irregardless of gender.
In fact, research shows that chores encourages children to be more responsible and it keeps them grounded and humble. The research further elaborated that chores help children to be more organised, empathetic, considerate of others and preventing boredom and disobedience.
Western children on the other hand, the biggest chore that they do is to put their own things away and/or washing the dishes. This is because chores are seen as laborious for children and making them do chores equates to child abuse/ child labour.
According to the Maryland Population Research Centre, a 6-12 year old child spends an average 24 minutes a day doing chores and its after their parents plead, beg, threaten, and its usually done under duress. This has became a phenomenon because anthropologists has called it “chore strike” and it happens in the Western world.
Here’s a chore sheet to encourage chores in your home and according to the age of your child.
When it comes to parenting, we all want to raise our child to be a functioning, human being, able to care for themselves and be considerate to others. There is not a single parenting style that is successful or proven to be efficient because parenting is complicated, what works for other children, might not work for your child.
In conclusion, parenting is a two-way learning process. We learn from our children everyday and in return, we teach our children right from wrong. According to Kristina Kuzmic, “loving them does not mean making sure they’re always happy and giving them every single little thing they want. It means raising them to be healthy, decent human being.”
Video from Edwin Gembul
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