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Essay on Cultural Reflection: Child Rearing Practices

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Culture is a defining factor in our lives. It can dictate how we see ourselves, how we socialize, and how we care for others. This encompasses child rearing practices. Pregnancy, childbirth and a child’s upbringing can vary greatly depending on the culture(s) of their parents. In the United States, mothers take precautions during pregnancy, generally deliver in a hospital, and raise their children with the support of relatives, day care programs and child care providers. In Vietnam, women are put on dietary restrictions during pregnancy, babies can be birthed at home if a hospital is inaccessible, and the mother traditionally takes the primary role in raising the child. In my research, I observed differences between American and Vietnamese views on child rearing practices, which incorporate child care and discipline, which I go on to discuss in my paper.
Every parent, regardless of their culture, senses that the bond created between an infant and their caregiver is an important interaction. A secure attachment is developed when a child becomes agitated when leaving their caregiver, but is immediately soothed by the return of their presence. Insecure attachment can result in indifference, distress or confusion “in response to reunion with their attachment figure” (Rathus, 2010, p. 208-209). One way American culture assists in the formation of a secure attachment is with maternity leave. Mothers are allotted 12 weeks to care for their newborns. In this time, the mother heals, the baby grows, and the bond can form. Some mothers choose to regulate their work schedule to spend more time with their children, or transition to a role as a stay-at-home mom. In Vietnamese cultures, a mother’s primary place is in the household, and the chil...


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...010). Childhood: voyages in development (Fourth Edition ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
Ruiz-Casares, M., & Heymann, J. (2009). Children Home Alone Unsupervised: Modeling Parental Decisions and Associated Factors in Botswana, Mexico, and Vietnam. Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, 33(5), 312-323.
Rydstrom, H. (2006). Masculinity and Punishment: Men's Upbringing of Boys in Rural Vietnam. Childhood: A Global Journal Of Child Research, 13(3), 329-348.
Some aspects of vietnamese culture in child rearing practices . (n.d.). Acacia. Retrieved February 17, 2014, from http://www.acacia.org.au/resources/someaspectsofvietnamesecultureinchildrearingpractices.pdf
Vietnamese ethnicity and background. (2009, November 5). Queensland Health. Retrieved February 17, 2014, from http://www.health.qld.gov.au/multicultural/health_workers/vietnamese-preg-prof.pdf



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