Thursday, March 12, 2015

Redefining motherhood one continent at a time

Going from mothering in one culture to another isn't easy.
Here's something that often goes unnoticed unless you move between cultures: your beliefs are shaped by them. Sounds obvious, but experiencing it can be a shock. 

Because The Frau became a mother in Switzerland, she gradually adopted Swiss parenting ways only to realize that they made her awkward as a mother in the U.S. 

All it took was a small "food fight" at her local American library to question everything she believed as a mother. She wrote about her multi-continent parenting issues for the New York Times yesterday. 

How does culture impact your parenting?

8 comments:

Hattie said...

I enjoyed reading this. Nicely observed.Maybe I learned hands off parenting in Switerland while thinking it was my idea.
Do you like Pingu? The little penguins do naughty things but nobody minds. It's expected,since they are inexperienced.

Chantal said...

Thanks for reading! Don't know Pingu.

Anonymous said...

Liked the story and it shows that culture makes really an impact in parenting. Imagine an American 4 year old walking alone to Kindergarten as required in Switzerland. As a German I also found 4 years a bit too young to walk alone, and wasn't liked for that. Maybe you should write about Globi......

Chantal said...

Actually there was just a case in New Hampshire about parents getting into trouble for allowing their 6 and 10 year old children to walk home alone from the park. So much for freedom in America!

Lisa Musick said...

Congratulations on your NYT piece! I happened upon the link through another blog I read and I knew I recognized the writing! As an American in Basel with a 3 year old, I am just learning the ropes about how different the parenting styles. Love reading your blog and was sad to see that you left Switzerland, but I'm happy you continue to write about your impressions.

Chantal said...

Hi Lisa, thanks for reading. Enjoy Switzerland and all the joys and challenges it provides, it's a hard place to leave.

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