What influences a child’s upbringing?

With the many different races and ethnicities around the world, there are also many different parenting styles.

Malavika Santhosh, Reporter

I remember being seven years old, having newly moved to America. As I looked around me and my peers, I noticed something. I began to notice it more and more as I saw depictions of American families on TV and the world around me. You see, most shows that I saw on TV portrayed a caucasian family, while I was from an Indian household with traditional values. What I saw was a difference. A difference in how many different races and ethnicities, due to various cultural values, raised their children differently.

This idea of differences in childhood experience due to race or ethnicity is something widely known but not often discussed. There are other elements behind your childhood experience, like society and “geographical differences”, says Mrs. Chikako Misener. She told me about how societal norms and pressures in Japan, where she comes from, made her childhood different from others. Where you come from and where your parents come from can affect your upbringing quite a lot, due to differences in values and parenting styles.

According to Pew Research Center, which provides information about public opinion, demographic research, and social issues, “ . . .black parents place more value than white parents on raising their kids to be hardworking, ambitious and financially independent.” They also say that “Black parents [and] Hispanic [parents] are also more likely than white parents to say their children’s successes and failures mostly reflect the job they’re doing as parents.” Being from an immigrant family, I’ve heard my parents, as well as other immigrants, emphasize the value of sacrifice and hardship. Different values lead to differences in relationships, discipline, and general parenting style.

This difference in parenting style has been observed by the Frances McClelland Institute of the University of Arizona, who noted the differences between the authoritative parenting style of caucasian parents and the authoritarian parenting style of Asian parents. They found that “authoritative . . . parents provide high support and moderate control . . . authoritarian . . . parents show low support and high control.” Being an Asian kid, I personally find this to be true, not only in my family but others as well. Though this seems to play into stereotypes, the information the institute presents is all based on facts and evidence, which also found that “ youth from authoritarian homes do just as well in school as those from authoritative homes.”

The world is ever-changing, and becoming a more diverse place, “a huge melting pot, a mix of the entire world looking to better their lives”, Mr. Alexander Zahajko says. As this happens, stereotypes seem to go away and cultures begin to mix and share different values and ways of life. In a way, you get to hold onto your cultural values when growing up, while also being a part of bigger shared values.