Today we welcome our first “across the pond” guest blogger! We loved Carla’s look at the differences in American vs British parenting.
The differences between the two sides of the Atlantic pond are as vast as the ocean itself. The British have their comical reticence and stiff upper lip, whilst the Americans are exuberant, which comes to light in sometimes comical ways through the way they bring up their children.
American parents are known for wanting to dress up and show off their children. There are an enormous number of child pageants, where the children are dressed and made up as beautiful adults; if you were unkind you would say that these poor souls are living their mothers’ dreams for them. The British on the other hand generally recoil in disgust at such an overt display, and if dragged there would try to sidle out through the nearest exit; they prefer children to grow up in their own time and at a more relaxed pace.
British parents like to be proud of their children, but in the main in a quieter day; sure; they will have photographs, with some probably on Facebook, but apart from the occasional extrovert the pride is contained. American parents like to be really, really proud, of everything; self-esteem is everything and this can result in praise for just finding your shoes let alone putting them on, and just wait for the scream after toddler’s first poo in a potty.
Soccer moms are legendary beings, famous for spending their lives ferrying their little darlings around to soccer and multiple other after school activities; kids just don’t get to go anywhere on their own any more, and even play dates are choreographed. Gone are the days of playing outside the house and having tea at each other’s houses, because let’s face it how could playing with friends and just being children possibly be good for you?
There are of course a number of British parents who over parent, but in the main they are happy for one or after school clubs and then for the kids just to play with the others in the neighbourhood, albeit quietly supervised.
This is the best one. If you want to upset your American parent, swear in front of them, it will work every time; swearing in front of a British parent however will elicit a different reaction. It is ok to swear in front of a British parent, as long as you use the word correctly; get your grammar right and your parent will be quietly pleased; get it wrong, and they will explain how do it properly, and all will quietly be forgiven as long as you don’t do it again.
British and American parents are poles apart; the British are notoriously reserved, whilst the Americans are known for being really “out there”, and making sure they get the best, of everything. The other big difference is how British parents run the household together, whilst the American mom is perceived as the dominant parent; let’s face it, she’s everywhere, at work, running the home and above all else over parenting her children. I think American mom needs to put her feet up from time to time and relax.
Carla is a London-based mother who writes about her favourite hobby: strollers and buggies. Occasionally, she finds time to blog about everyday life and motherhood in Europe’s largest city, London. You find her blog on busycitymum.com