7 surprising parenting methods
Newborns in Denmark are put in baby carriages to sleep outdoors, preschoolers in Italy have learned to work as carpenters, and French children eat like adults...
Parents in all cultures love their children equally, but there are some big differences in how they treat and raise them. Here are 7 parenting methods in different countries, which may surprise you.
1. Japanese children go to school by themselves
In Japan, it is not uncommon to see elementary school-age children using public transport or walking to school alone.
In safe, enclosed spaces like schools, Japanese children are also given important responsibilities. As early as 6 years old, children were assigned to clean the school, even the bathroom, and serve lunch for their classmates.
2. Danish babies nap outdoors
In Denmark and other countries with long winters, it's perfectly normal to see strollers parked outside cafes with a baby sleeping in them. They believe that fresh air helps babies sleep better and is good for their health.
You will also see babies sleeping in strollers in front of their homes or daycares, in front of shops, where their parents can stay indoors enjoying a drink and keeping an eye on their baby through a nearby table or window. While this may sound strange to us, it has been going on for generations in Denmark or Finland.
Italian children work as carpenters since childhood. Photo: Huffpost
3. Italian preschoolers working as carpenters
In Reggio Emilia preschools in Italy, children are encouraged to learn through discovery and following their interests. Since then, the philosophy of education has spread across the globe.
A common image at Reggio schools is of very young children using hammers to drive nails and saws to cut wood to create their own unique creations.
Early childhood education expert Peter Moorhouse says the Reggio Emilia approach is a way for children to express themselves. Parents are amazed at how confident and proficient their children are in working with tools early on.
4. French children eat like adults
You will be hard pressed to find a children's menu in a restaurant in France. Similarly, you won't find a separate table for kids, with separate food and drink options, at any special event.
French children tend to sit at the same table as their families for dinner. Even school lunches tend to consist of four dishes served restaurant-style, and kids have a minimum of 30 minutes to eat to make sure they're eating well.
French children often sit at the main table, share dishes and eat the same foods as adults. Photo: Huffpost
5. Italian children go to bed late
It is not uncommon to see a family pushing a stroller around the street at 8, 9, or even 10 o'clock at night. Italians eat dinner late and, like the French, the whole family will have dinner together, even if that means some of the younger members will have to fit in their parents' laps before dinner is over.
In many other countries, parents spend too much time wondering about their children's sleeping habits. Most want and try to get their kids to bed before 9pm.
Of course, children need enough sleep to have the best health and development. Although some studies show that Italian children sleep less than other countries, the researchers also found that the sleep habits of Italian teenagers were significantly better than those of American teenagers.
6. Aka tribe men take care of their children just like women
Around the world, the image of women taking care of children is very popular. However, there is precedent for men to take on a significant portion of childcare duties. In the nomadic Aka tribe in central Africa, anthropologists have observed that 47% of the time children are cared for by their fathers. The roles are interchangeable and flexible. Aka women also hunt while men cook and vice versa.
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