Top 10 Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

11:26 am 28 Mar, 2013

Parenting is a responsibility one can’t ignore. Raising kids can be chaotic and niggling; and yet, it is the most blissful duty. We humans are imitators by nature. Often, we copy the parenting style of our parents; emulate the ways in which we have been brought up as we’re overshadowed by their ideology and psyche. We learn from our parents how to tend to the baby. There are three types of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian and permissive. The Asians, especially Indians and Chinese parents, advocate in favor of the middle type, while the Western world, especially Americans, adhere to authoritative style of parenting. Chinese author Amy Chua has written a book on parenting, which provoked many. To do a reality check i.e. East vs. West, we’ve to explore why authoritative parenting is significantly popular. Here are the top 10 things Indian parents can learn from their counterparts in the West.


10. Parents set their kids’ goals:

Parents in West help kids set their goals and they continuously support and encourage them to achieve those. This is helpful, particularly, in the decision-making process throughout their life. Authoritative parents realize and appreciate their kids’ individuality.  They give them freedom to pursue their own passions and interests in life. Being free to pursue their dreams, they are able to think out-of-the-box. It is the same culture which produced Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs.

Parents set their kids’ goals -  Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

9. Reasoning with kids:

Parents don’t force their opinions on kids. When kids’ demands are extraordinary or unjustified, parents don’t just shut them up. They come up with their own philosophy and reason properly. Parenting style has a profound effect on the kid’s brain. How the parents take care of their kids, affect their overall performance, which includes academic achievement, self-confidence, aggression, psychological strength, and the capacity to cope with real-life challenges.

Reasoning with kids -  Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

8. Responsive to their emotional needs:

Parents are extremely sensitive towards their kids’ emotional or psychological well-being. They’re approachable to their kids’ sphere and on the look-out for their behavioral ups and downs, all the time. Since parents themselves are emotionally more indulgent, their children grow to be more compassionate.

Responsive to their emotional needs - Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

7. Great listeners:

Parents in the West are active listeners. They answer every single, verbal or non-verbal query of their kids. Their behavior is more like two friends rather than a terrifying dad and poking mom. Often parents lend their ears to their kids’ conversations and get to know the nitty-gritty of child psychology which varies with each child.

Great listeners - Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

6. Value independence:

Parents value their kids’ independence. They may act as an influencer but they do not force their decisions on their kids. They give full authority to their children so that they grow up independent; it’s a priority thing, almost uncommon with us Indians. Authoritative parents encourage independence in their kids without compromising on their self-discipline, maturity and respect for others. Parents persuade kids to act independently, which makes them competent and helps in fostering self-esteem.

Value independence - Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

5. Set limitations and expectations:

Unlike Indian parents, parents in the West know the capabilities of their children i.e. their strengths & weaknesses. Accordingly, they put across limitations and show gratification towards their achievement in life. They observe control over their behavior resulting in moderate expectations from their kids.

Set limitations and expectations - Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

4. Express warmth and nurturance:

Parents in the West value touch-therapy. They are more inclined towards hugging and kissing their kids, which is very affectionate. It’s more natural form of expressing emotions; even animals love their offspring this way. Not all Indian parents treat their kids the same way. Indians have developed a misconstrued idea of a child’s independence wherein they believe that a kid should not be affectionately treated after a certain age. Many urban Indian parents hire nannies to take care of their children instead of themselves.

Express warmth and nurturance - Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

3. Encourage children to act as opinion-makers:

Authoritative parents encourage their kids to express their own opinions. It simply doesn’t matter to them what divergent outlooks they might be having. Parents seem to be more democratic towards their children’s approach.

Encourage children to act as opinion-makers - Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

2. Allow children to discuss options:

In the West, parents often consult their kids about things that might impact the family. Parents urge their kids to work on all the objectives and come out with a viable option. In India, kids are told to shut up when parents are talking. Indian parents think that children should not interfere in decisions taken by adults even if it is about the child.

Allow children to discuss options - Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

1. Psychological control:

Children are more responsive to their parental demands in the West. When they are not getting sufficient parental control, it deprives the child of guidance and supervision and then the child is always at risk for developmental difficulties. Excessive psychological control could imbalance young minds turning them into bad decision-makers. They might also develop various psychological disorders. Children in the West, in particular, have adequate life-skills and more autonomy on their personality because of authoritative parenting.

Psychological control - Things Indian Parents Can Learn from the West

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