You’ve probably heard of culture shock, the feeling of disorientation a person feels when faced with another culture, way of life, or set of attitudes. For me, it was twofold: I was in a new country and I was a new mom, two ways in which my own life suddenly felt utterly unfamiliar.
Sarah-in-Seattle and Sarah-in-Stockholm are both white, middle-class, married, professional women with babies and toddlers at home. But their experiences as working mothers returning to work after giving birth could not have been more different.
Working with colleagues from 14 countries, we looked at the way broad societal values influenced how parents raise their children. We then studied how these different parenting styles shaped the behavior and personality of kids.