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The art of child rearing differs from one parent to another, from one society to another, from one region to another and from one continent to another. Artisan (2010) argues that it is the difference in the upbringing that is responsible for individual differences. She believes that the way a child is brought up determines, in a major way, the way the child will behave and develop. She notes that the way children are brought up has a direct correlation, in most cases, with the way they will rear their children after they become parents (Artisan, 2010).
Among the factors which will determine the way a child is reared is the social class of a family. Teaching of social etiquette is associated with the middle or upper class. Families at these levels teach their kids to appreciate a host of things including music, literature among others. They also emphasize programmed way of carrying out tasks for instance the attaining of proper education, the correct medical attention, taking the correct diet among others (Artisan, 2010).
Artisan (2010) discusses other factor like religion and their place in influencing the rearing practices. She also looks at the general picture whereby she discusses the issues of culture and portrays it as the major factor in the upbringing of children. Different societies have got different ways of child rearing practices which seem unique to other cultures (Artisan, 2010). It should be appreciate that all these different cultures are significant in their own ways and therefore should not be scorned upon (Artisan, 2010).
With the advancement of the globalization wave, there are likelihoods that the child rearing practices will be globalized. This might take time because of the way different people value their culture. However, with factors such as intercultural marriages such a possibility will be expedited. It should be noted the rearing practices have a great influence on the development of children. According to Cherry (2010), it is wrong to view children as small versions of adults. Children undergo stepwise continuous growth and development which starts as early as before they are born (Cherry, 2010).
This research will discuss the differences existing among different cultures. The paper is case study based whereby five study cases will be discussed. In the discussion, the paper will bring out the difference which exists among the case studies which have been picked up. The effect of different cultural rearing practices will also be brought out. The paper will discuss the Japanese, Jamaican, West African, Australia (aboriginal people) and Indonesia (Bali people) ways of rearing children. These regions have been picked up because they are conservative and still maintain most of their cultural beliefs.
This section will discuss the five case studies mentioned above at an individual level paying close attention to the distinct features of the case being studied.
The Japanese Way of Child Rearing. According to Roger, Davis and Osamu (2004), the Japanese hold tight to their culture and are good at passing it down to the other generations. The child rearing practices seen in the case of the Japanese is a kind of reciprocal relationship. The authors argue that the modern day Japanese culture is based on the traditional agricultural practices which depended on cooperation. Child rearing in Japan is aimed at bringing up individuals who can easily get along with others. The raring practices champion cooperation in the place of individualism (Roger, Davis & Osamu, 2004).
Roger, Davis and Osamu (2004) show a big contrast between the Japanese rearing practices and the western ones. Unlike in the West where the practice of rearing child is aimed at bringing up an individual who is independent, creative and self assertive, the Japanese value cooperation more than all the other factors. The authors use the term ‘seep down type’ in describing how children are taught new skills. The Japanese depend more on imitation in the place of linguistic analytic explanation (Roger, Davis & Osamu, 2004).
The Japanese parents do not engage harsh means to discipline their children. The Japanese practice minimizes the use of pressure to enhance obedience and instead resorts to other means such as some sort of control mechanism. The Japanese mothers are known not to force their kids not to do things they do like. Unlike the American mothers who are keen on disobedience, the Japanese mothers take disobedience lightly and work on it to eradicate it. Roger, Davis and Osamu (2004) argues that this help in developing a good identity for the child by giving the child time to understand when there is a misunderstand issue. The Japanese way of treatment can be said to be in line with the theory suggested by John Bowbly (Cherry, 2010). The theory suggests that early close relationship with parents or caregivers boosts the development of a child (Cherry, 2010).
The Jamaican Way of Child Rearing. The information in this part is extracted from an interview between Laura Gardner and Ogarry Clarke. Among the Jamaican, parenthood is a very important task. The parents take the responsibility of bringing up their children in the in a manner that will enable them live well in the society. According to Clark (2010), the Jamaicans depend on the learning institutions to teach their children and inform them on some issues such as sex education. The Jamaicans do not have a myth to explain to their children many issues among which is the child bearing. According to the interview the children are simply told that babies drop from the skies. They also learn about Adam and Eve from schools and not from homes. This gives an indication that the Jamaican way of rearing children encourages aloofness of the parents because seeming so many issues are left to the learning institutions to implement (Clark, 2010).
On the issue of discipline, the Jamaicans do not believe in hitting their children but rather opt to use the word of mouth to give instructions. However, the cane is used as a last resort. Among the Jamaicans child rearing can equally be carried out by either parents depending on how their respective schedules. The neighbors are also involved in the rearing of children. The Jamaicans have got so many beliefs about babies. One of them is that if a mother is pregnant and she does not take exercises then the baby who will born will be lazy. Another belief is that if a baby is not christened then it will turn out to be mischievous. Christening is a common habit among the Jamaican parents (Clark, 2010).
The Cote d’Ivoire way of child rearing. In the West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire it is believed that the incase a woman has some difficulty in the cause of childbirth then a diviner was needed to help in calling the baby from the after life such that it can come out of the womb. Once a baby is born, it is assumed that the baby as yet not arrived in the life other are in. it is taken that the baby is still in the afterlife where people go after dying. To lure the baby to this life, an old woman sits by it day and night trying to dry the umbilical code stump by rubbing it with some mixture of some substances. Among the people in this region, it is a belief that the baby will start to live in this live after the umbilical code drops down. Gottlieh (2000) estimates that for the code to drop, it takes between four to five years. During this period it is assumed that the child operates between this world and the after life world. This belief has a big consequence on the way children are brought up in this region. It should be noted that this is very common among the Beng people of West Africa (Gottlieh, 2000).
Among the Beng people, the grandmothers are taken to be advisors to new mothers on how to care for the children. The grandmothers take active roles in teaching young on how to carry out significant tasks which involve parenting. The tasks which taught to the young women by the old grandmothers include administration of child pepper enemas to babies, bathing of the babies, the kind of medicine which is to be administered. The diviners’ task in the process of child rearing is the provision of explicit guidance. The diviners also sell some jewelry to the mothers to buy for their children (Gottlieh, 2000).
This society has many myths in relation to child rearing. Child rearing among in this community is communal. The society has too many taboos which guide the rearing exercise of the child.
The Warlpiri way of child rearing in Australia. The Warlpiri people are part of the Aboriginal people who live in Australia. These people are historically semi-nomadic operating within the loose boundaries of Central desert of Australia. At the present time most of the Warlpiri people lead the traditional way of life with just a small fraction having adapted the modern way of life. These people have unique believes which dictate the way their children are reared. Religion and ritual permeates all their life aspects (Pierroutsakos, 2000).
Pierroutsakos (2000) makes a claim that the Warlpiri women child rearing practices are quite unique. The women have to decide which spiritual conception was responsible for their pregnancy. These people believe in physical conception as well as spiritual conception. This was quite important for these people for the purpose of identification of the child to be born. Child rearing among these people starts long before the child is born: the mother for instance is not allowed to travel over places which are known to possess strong ancestral forces. The pregnant woman had to be careful not to cause any harm to those animals which are linked to the spirit of the unborn baby. A pregnant takes this responsibility to ensure that the child grows well while still in the womb (Pierroutsakos, 2000).
The pregnant woman also needs to avoid some kinds of food because they are considered as strong. These foods include fish and eggs. At this point Pierroutsakos (2000) compares these people with the mothers in the western world in particular on the restriction on fish. The western gives the reason that fish are contaminated with bacteria therefore it is not appropriate for the pregnant women to taken it (Pierroutsakos, 2000). Pierroutsakos (2000) further argues that a pregnant Warlpiri woman should avoid other foods which are deemed as strong for example rabbit bandicoot, meat from animals with spiked body parts.
The process of giving birth should be carried out with care if a Warlpiri baby is to survive. The baby has to be delivered directly onto the ground. The ground is believed to have the spirits which can sustain the children throughout its life. Upon being delivered, the baby is smoked over smoking acacia leaves. This is done to give the baby some strength. The father encourages the baby to grow by drawing some stripes with red ochre (Pierroutsakos, 2000).
The Warlpiri people gives an example of a community which has a firm believe that child rearing starts long before the child is born. The mother takes responsibility to protect the child against anything that may harm the child. This is not very far from the modern day philosophy whereby the mother ought to take care of the baby by taking the right diet and avoiding any physical injury.
The Bali Way of Child Rearing in Indonesia. The Bali people practice Balinese Hinduism. This practice is a mixture of ancestral worship and Buddhism. Among the Bali people religion plays a central role in most of the child rearing practices. The Bali people believe that rearing of the child starts long before the child is born. It is the duty of a pregnant woman and her husband to take the due precautions in ensuring that the pregnancy is trouble free. It is a common believe among these people that for every positive force in the world there exist an evil force. In this respect a pregnant woman ought to make frequent offering to the ancestors in order to obtain protection from them (Howe, 2005).
Once a child is born due care has to taken. The child is considered divine and thus close to the world of gods than to the world of human beings. For this people the ground is too profane for the gods and therefore for the first several months the baby is never put down on the floor. This is exactly the opposite of the Warlpiri people covered above. The Bali baby is carried all the time until the Otonan ceremony. This ceremony marks the arrival of the baby from the divine world of gods. At the ceremony the baby is provided with a cap to keep away from evil spirits from entering the baby. The child is then placed on the ground for the first time (Diener, 2000).
The Balinese people believe that the parents are responsible for the child’s character. The parents also get in touch with spiritual a spiritual leader who advises the parents on which ancestral spirit is reincarnated in a child and what the wishes of the ancestor. In general, the Balinese way of child rearing calls for the understanding of their religious beliefs (Diener, 2000).
Child rearing practices are quite important as they form part of the developmental stages of a child. Different societies have got different way of rearing their young ones. The various ways are most different from each other and at sharp displaying sharp differences. Some of the practices are the same but with different reasons behind them. Child rearing practices form a core element in the development of a child.