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Parenting Around the World



There is no one right way of parenting. Humans around the world, for 100,000s of years, have adapted to do things in ways that work for them & their communities. Here are just some of the amazing ways people from all over do things differently.


⭐ In Norway, kids nap outside even in subzero temperatures.


It's not uncommon to see kids bundled up outside on the balcony during winter, taking a nap in their strollers. It adds meaning to the phrase “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”.


⭐ Vietnamese parents potty-train their babies by 9 months


Vietnamese babies are trained to pee at the sound of a whistle. Kind of like Pavlov with his salivating dogs. Parents start by noticing when their baby starts peeing & making a little whistle sound. Soon enough, the baby starts to associate the whistle with peeing & voila! In the West we call this “Elimination Communication”, but it happens worldwide.


⭐ Kisii people in Kenya avoid looking their babies in the eye


Kisii mums in Kenya carry their babies everywhere, but they don't indulge a baby's cooing. Rather, when their babies start babbling, mums avert their eyes. It sounds harsh to a Western sensibility, but within the context of Kisii culture, it makes more sense. Eye contact is an act bestowed with a lot of power. It's like saying, "You're in charge," which isn't the message parents want to send their kids. Researchers have discovered that Kisii kids are less attention-seeking as a result.


⭐ In the Polynesian Islands, children take care of children


We're not talking just older siblings doing some baby-sitting here. It’s more of an organised “kid collective”. In Polynesia, adults are in charge of caring for young babies, but as soon as an infant can walk, he or she is turned over to the care of other children. Preschool-aged children learn to effectively calm babies. Toddlers themselves, quickly become self-reliant because they learn that’s the only way they get to hang out with the big kids & enjoy the fun.


Are there any interesting parenting techniques that you use? Let us know in the comments!


Image: photography by Stephen Wallace

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