While many facets of parenting are seemingly universal—wanting to help a baby grow up into a healthy, happy adult—we have developed myriad ways to approach each aspect of ensuring a child’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, from how a baby should be held to how to instill a sense of responsibility in a teenager. These different approaches are frequently products of differing cultural attitudes about what “right behavior” looks like—or even what a healthy, happy adult looks like! Thoughtfully and compassionately exploring these differing ways of thinking about parenting can shed light on both the problematic and wise aspects of how we approach raising the children in our care.
For decades, Katie D’Angelo and Valerie Harrison engaged in conversations about race and racism. However, when Katie and her husband, who are white, adopted Gabriel, a biracial child, Katie’s conversations with Val, who is black, were no longer theoretical and academic.
Could the Scandinavian philosophy of “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” hold the key to happier, healthier lives for American children? When Swedish-born Linda Åkeson McGurk moved to Indiana, she quickly learned that the nature-centric parenting philosophies of her...
The Kraho people believe a child should have more than one mother. It’s so ingrained in the culture that the Kraho children use the word “inxe” for both their biological mother and their mother’s sisters or the women their mother considers as sisters, even if they’re not related by blood.
I want my daughter to see that an Indigenous way of life isn’t an alternative lifestyle but a priority. It is essential, then, that I return to the parenting principles of my ancestors and consciously integrate Indigenous kinship practices into her childhood.
How you raise your children is completely up to you, and how you discipline them can be different all around the world. Should smacking be illegal or does it depend on the child’s behaviour? What do you think? How involved are your family with raising your children?