Parenting is Different and That’s Ok!

When I took a vacation to India, I noticed something pretty amazing: There were NO KIDS CRYING ANYWHERE, not even in outdoor markets with 100-degree heat. Finally, after a few days of travel, I asked the locals if they knew why. Someone replied, “But why would my baby cry?”

Ummmm, well, excuuuuse me!!

After that, I started Googling around for different parenting strategies, and I was surprised to find that the way we raise kids in America — the methods we think are “the way things are don” — are totally different in other countries.

For example, in this TED Talk:

Norwegians believe that it is better for children to be in daycare as toddlers. In Japan, parents let their 4 and 5-year-olds run errands with their siblings (under 12 years-old) — without parental supervision. Kids don’t hesitate to take the Tokyo subways by themselves and walk on busy streets alone, just like their Japanese peers.

Read those things. Notice how you feel.

Would you let your kid take the subway alone?

Would you take your 4-year old to a 3-hour meal at a restaurant (like some French parents do)? Why or why not?

Notice how resistant we are to see a different way of parenting.

Yet they totally work in other cultures.

We all have beliefs about how parenting works. Sometimes these parenting beliefs are so deep we don’t even notice we have them. But they still influence how we parent — even when they’re wrong.

I call those beliefs “invisible parenting scripts.”

For example, “kids shouldn’t ride the subway alone” might be one. Here are some others:

  • “Kids should be seen not heard.”
  • “Don’t sleep train your baby until 6 months old.”
  • “I’ll wait until my child shows signs of toilet readiness.”

I mention this to say…. there are no “shoulds” or “musts” in parenting. Different methods work, even if they aren’t your own. I hope to be with you on your parenting journey, navigating your child’s different developmental phases together.

There may be times that I mention or recommend certain methods (that have been proven to work) but that are very different from what you know parenting to be. Be open and trust the systems!

Thanks for reading!

What are you “invisible parenting scripts”?