Parenting is subjective, but to quite an extent it is influenced by our surroundings, upbringing, and culture. ‘Which style of parenting is better? Eastern or Western’ was the topic of debate at Ekya School JP Nagar. Students highlighted some key factors that differentiate the parenting style in eastern and western countries. Shreya Siddharth of Grade 6 in this blog shares an account of the debate competition and the topic discussed.

The topic given to us to the debate was ‘Which style of parenting is better? Eastern or Western’. The teachers first tested us on our knowledge about the topic by holding a discussion. We shared our thoughts and also noted down points. We were then divided into teams consisting of two members each. Each team had to argue for and against the topic. Here are some of the points we debated about:

Eastern vs. Western style of parenting:

The world consists of nearly 7.5 billion people. The parents of the world prefer their technique of parenting according to the place they live. The western style of parenting is largely supported in North America and Europe while the eastern in Asia.

Today, at school we debated about the two.

Eastern style of parenting favours family first. They are emotionally connected and supported. The western style teaches kids to be individualistic and open to the world. Here are some primary differences…

1. Sleep:
Most American babies do not sleep with their parents from the early days. Unlike the eastern culture, the western babies have been trained to soothe themselves to sleep. While in the eastern culture, parents sing a lullaby.

2. Mealtime:
Beyond bottle feeding, meals are usually placed in front of the child. A bib is a must to begin this meal adventure in most American homes. While in the eastern culture feeding the babies is a necessity for parents.

3. Playdates:
These are common in the US and they are constantly arranged to allow the child to interact with others. These unstructured play opportunities encourage children to venture and explore their environment. Playdates also exist in the eastern cultures where several mothers meet and chat while their children play in a home or outdoor environment. However, these mothers may show some hesitation about having their children venture beyond the ‘comfort zone.’

4. Strict upbringing:
This exists everywhere and this applies to both cultures although most would like to believe that western parents are more liberal.However, parents in the east may adhere to stricter routines, and discipline due to their higher expectations set for their children. While success is important, western parents also look at other ways to develop their children. As such, they do not generally push their children but allow them to pursue their interests.

5. Leaving home at age 18:
The biggest difference comes when the child becomes college bound at around 17 or 18 years old. With close to 4,600 universities or colleges in the US, some parents may find their children opting to enter colleges at this age. Unlike the western culture, young adults in the east usually stay with their parents till they get married. They usually live in a joint family where all siblings, in-laws, parents live.

Parenting style depends on where you live and the custom followed.

– Shreya Siddharth of Grade 6, Ekya School JP Nagar

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