Comparative Analysis of the Child-Rearing Practices of the Philippines and Other Cultures

7 July 2016

Child rearing plays an important role in building up the children’s characteristics. It is their foundation to be a functional member of the society. But different societies have different cultures when it comes to child rearing. There are different factors which affect a parent’s attitude toward his/her children and these factors are mostly influenced by the society or the personal preference/ favoritism of the parent. What is considered the “proper” way of child-rearing is dictated by the cultural tradition. Even within the same society, these may also vary depending on the age, sex and birth order of the child.

(Medina, 2001)The size of the family and the stage in the family life cycle may also affect child-rearing practices. (Ventura, 1985) Other factors which may influence the patterns of child-rearing are social class and rural/urban residence. Moreover, child-rearing techniques are not static: they change as the society changes. (Medina, 2001) Child-rearing in the Philippines is mostly the “women’s business”. The mother or the other female adult members of the family are the ones who take care of the child. They are the ones who are more familiarized with the child.

Comparative Analysis of the Child-Rearing Practices of the Philippines and Other Cultures Essay Example

Since the women have the biggest part in the responsibility of taking care of the child while growing up, they influenced the child more and the child tend to always confide to their mother or other female family members. While the father’s role in child-rearing remains minimal, there are indications that he is getting increasingly involved. (Medina, 2001) Most fathers take the time to learn how to properly take care of an infant like preparing the milk and changing the diapers as well as ways to better assist their wives.

Since the Philippines is a conservative society, chastity is a matter of importance. This is why the upbringing of the daughters is stricter compared to the sons. The daughter is expected to be at home most of the time while the son is allowed to stay out late. Moreover, gender roe differentiation is emphasized so that girls are raised to be wives and mothers, while boys are to require skills in earning a living. Also, stereotyped gender traits are inculcated so that girls are develop to be modest and refined while boys are to be strong and healthy.

(Liwag, et al. , 1999) In the matriarchal society of Jamaica, the female sex is more valued than its counterpart. The mothers usually work in the nightclubs that’s why the rearing of the daughters is more important compared to the son. However, the responsibility of child-rearing is often left to the grandmothers who are associated with family, land and inheritance. In contrast with the other, China gives more importance to the father-son relationship. The daughters, or in general the female sex, is often neglected and on other times, even mistreated.

In Chinese families, the father had to raise his son in the tradition of his ancestors to perform his duties properly in both the material and spiritual worlds. The son had to honor and obey his father. After the father’s death, his son had to observe the same ritual with his own son. The Chinese mother-son relationship has less importance. (Hsu, 1948) An American mother is much more concerned with the appropriate sex role. Both sexes may be treated equally but they are expected to be unique or different from each other.

A child is encouraged to be himself, even at the expense of the complete approval of the neighbors and friends. Achievement and not enjoyment is the first goal for the child. His age level is emphasized to him in many ways, and he is subtly denied opportunities to play with those who are markedly older or younger than he is at the moment. Independence, achievement and later, sexual attractiveness become important goals. He is only expected to seek the support of his family when he encounters obstacles which he cannot overcome himself.

(Guthrie and Jacobs, 1965) Breast-feeding is not particularly part of the culture of several countries but in the Philippines, it is. It is believed that the milk of the mother contains various nutrients that will improve the intellectual as well as the physical attributes of the child. Breast-feeding is more common in the Philippines compared to America. Weaning in America means giving up the bottle whereas in the Philippines it means giving up breast-feeding and sleeping beside the mother.

The most important structural aspect of Filipino society is the intense loyalty and obedience felt by an individual towards his kin and peer groups. (Hollersteiner, 1965; Stoodley, 1957) Their demand for obedience has at least three aspects. First, since his parents, particularly his mother brought him into this world, the child owes them a debt of gratitude and submission. Second, each member of the family is expected to obey those who are older than him. Third, it is believed that misfortune will plague a disobedient and disrespectful child all throughout his life.

Feelings of gratitude, respect for age and fear of misfortune is held before the child to secure his compliance. (Guthrie and Jacobs, 1965) The American parents base their demands for obedience on the importance of the directing the child’s behavior to insure social as well as biological survival and on the necessity of integrating him as a cooperative, nondestructive member of the family. (Sears, Maccoby and Levin) The American child is usually only required to obey his parents and occasionally, the older sibling while the Filipino child must obey many people such as the parents, older siblings and relatives.

Obedience is parallel to punishment. If the child disobeys his parent, he’s liable to receive some form of punishment. Corporal punishment is traditionally the most common and considered to be the most effective method used by parents to instill discipline and the best time to start this is when the child is still young. American mothers use denial of privileges, threats of loss of love, and physical punishment to enforce obedience while Filipino mothers are more likely to punish physically, scold or bribe.

(Guthrie and Jacobs, 1965) The obedience of the child is also connected to his/her independence. In most cases, especially if the family is authoritative, the child of this family is incapable of forming apt decisions since he is used to his parents making the important decisions for him. European and American mothers encourage their children to be self-reliant and assertive. Past the toddler stage, the child is trained to look after himself in ways such as feeding, cleaning and playing.

American mothers find themselves juggling house cleaning, marketing, cooking and seeing off husband and older children to work so that the young child learns early to dress and eat by himself. Conditioned to help oneself and to help mother in the household, Western children are encouraged to accept responsibilities, learn to make decisions and accept the consequences of their good or bad behavior. Studied by the Levines (1963), the Gusii tribe of Kenya, Africa considers the infant as fragile and susceptible to evil influences.

After his infantile needs are satisfied, the child is viewed to be capable of being trained. He is ordered about and punished by anyone older than he. In later childhood, he is treated as a lowly servant. He is forced into adulthood through heavy duties and punishment. Thus, the Gusii parents feel that severity induces a faster transition to maturation. The Filipino child is mostly spoiled during his/her first six years. They are the center of concern of parents, siblings and other relatives. This large kinship has conditioned the child to leisurely grow up.

Often, the child would seek help and care in activities he could already carry out himself. Differences among the child-rearing patterns of different cultures are prevalent. There are various factors contributing to this that is why you can consider each family unique or different from the other family. Like what was said before “child-rearing techniques are not static”, they are subject to change and reformations. The child-rearing patterns of different cultures may be different but in a way it is what they believe in and it is only natural to respect their own culture oppose to ours.

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