Parenting is no easy job, but some ways of raising kids have no place in our modern world. Children are raised differently in every country and as of right now, there is no clear-cut answer on the best way to parent. Some would argue that it all depends on each child, while parents from most other culture would say that you can’t let your kids run you, and you better show them who is boss.
All that aside, there are still a number of old-fashioned practices that parents still employ to this day all around the world and below.
Here are 15 super dated things that parents still do around the world, but they aren’t just limited to other countries. The US, Canada, the UK and even Australia are all guilty of still doing some of these and it’s high time for some change.
Enough studies have been done that show that all of these things are detrimental to a child’s emotional and physical development. Just because some readers may have grown up experiencing some of the things listed here doesn’t mean that they should continue to be employed. After all, change is the only constant.
15 Tossing Babies In India
In India, throwing your baby from a distance of 30 feet above ground is actually seen as good luck. Maybe that’s what Michael Jackson was trying to do when he infamously held his son Blanket over the railing of the balcony?
After a video went viral in 2009 of a baby being tossed from a shrine, the practice was widely criticized by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, who cited that: “It is against the interest of the children. They may be really scared, and nobody knows how it affects their psyche.”
Under the guise of this tradition, a crowd stands watch below, while a terrified and in tears baby is thrown onto a sheet held by a handful of men. Any video of the practice is shocking to watch and although the commission has advocated for baby tossing to be stopped, the tradition persists in many rural Indian villages.
14 Talking At Kids In America
More and more, parents are coming around to the idea that the old-fashioned way of having a teacher babble on relentlessly in front of about 20 kids seated for long periods of time simply is the worst ways to teach. Kids need to move and have different ways of learning. Lumping everyone under the same teaching style doesn’t work and instead has made some kids drop out of school. New teaching methods improve the educational process and it’s high time that all schools catch on and stop forcing kids to sit still.
Standing desks, treadmills in the classroom, more recess times… many new methods need to get implemented in every school now. Many parents are shocked when they hear of the Finnish method of teaching that allows letting kids go outside every 45 minutes and yet there is something to be said about how Finnish children frequently rank the highest in both science and mathematics.
13 No Snacking In South Korea
American parents are known overpackers. The diaper bag market is a booming business with the biggest and most compartmentalized bags being touted by moms in hundreds of videos. You’d be hard-pressed to find a mom that hasn’t packed dozens of little baggies of snacks, complete with fruits, veggies, star-shaped sandwiches and the easiest of them all, those little gold-colored fishies.
This would never happen in South Korea, where the reigning belief is that no matter how hungry they may get, kids need to wait to have their meal with the rest of the family. Forget snacking, it just doesn’t happen as grazing during the day is considered unhealthy. Kids are said to be less picky as a result, eating the exact same foods as their parents. It certainly sounds delightful on the one hand, but on the other, we can’t help but feel sad for a kid that might feel hungry all day.
12 Dads Don't Take Time Off In The US
One major dated thing parents do around the world, nearly universally, is that most dads just don’t take enough time off with their new babies. But that’s partly not necessarily the dad’s or even both parents’ fault. All across the world, most countries still haven’t caught on to the fact that both parents need at least a couple of weeks off with the baby. In a perfect world, both parents would get at least one fully paid year off, but sadly, that is just not the case. Even mothers in the US don’t get enough time!
Even in incredibly family-friendly countries that offer paid paternity leave, there are still some dads who choose to go back to work. In an increasingly feminist world, the idea that the man should go back to work, while the woman stays home with the kids, is an incredibly old-fashioned one and one that needs to be challenged.
11 Pants Splitting In China
Hate changing diapers? Then try Kaidangku or open crotch pants. Although these innovative pants are starting to be less common now, they’re still in use in certain parts of China. As an alternative to diapers, split crotch pants allow babies to simply pop a squat and relieve themselves pretty much any time or anywhere that they want.
They’re certainly economical when you think of them in terms of all the money you would be saving on diapers, but they’re quite awful from a hygienic standpoint. If you have ever had to deal with poop explosions on a daily basis, then you will understand the terribleness of these kinds of pants. Open crotch pants should just stop being sold altogether as even cloth diapers are better and cheaper alternatives to disposable ones.
10 No Bedtime In Spain
On pretty much most online baby forums, parents post countless questions on sleep training and how bedtime is the worst struggle in the entire world every single day. In Spain, parents choose not to tackle bedtime in any way. Their children simply don’t go to bed until either at the same time as them, or pretty much any time after 10pm or later. Genius or terrible parenting? On one hand, they’re not the only culture to see bedtime as a familial thing. In fact, most Indian parents are horrified at the idea of most families simply placing their babies in a room by themselves to sleep. In the Indian culture, everyone simply sleeps at the same time and in the same room.
To get back to children’s lack of bedtime in Spain though, countless studies have demonstrated the importance of not only a consistent bedtime for kids, but also one that is as early as 7pm. It definitely depends on the time that a kid wakes up, but the aim should be for 11-12h of sleep every night.
9 Abandoning Strollers In Denmark
In the US, parents use baby leashes. In Denmark, parents don’t hesitate to park strollers outside and go inside for a bite or while they shop around. Even if the temperature is frigid, there will be no shortages of seemingly abandoned babies snoozing away in their strollers. As well-intentioned as the practice might be, it’s certainly not one that will be adopted in any other country any time soon.
Relying on the good nature of strangers is all fun and games until someone’s baby goes missing and then more follow in their tracks. Taking the risk of your baby getting abducted is certainly not one that most parents would find it logical to do, especially if it’s for the sole reason of happening all because the parents wanted to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a scone inside!
8 Bali Babies Aren't Allowed To Touch The Floor
In most countries, parents are overloaded with studies and advice on how babies require plenty of tummy time from the moment they are born. But in Bali, Indonesia babies aren’t allowed to touch the ground during the first three months of their lives. The ritual lies in the belief that until they touch the ground, their connection to the spirit world is still intact. Everyone from family members to friends and even neighbors will band together to help hold the baby during this special time to make sure that the baby stays off the ground. The baby can only finally touch the ground after a special ceremony called the Nyabutan on the 105th day of its life.
Most moms also have a lotus birth, which is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut and still attached to the placenta, which is kept in a container nearby.
7 Scary Level Of Independence In Japan
In Japan, parents have no problems letting kids as young as four years old ride the subway completely alone. This is a situation that we would absolutely under zero circumstances see in most other countries, but Japanese parents do this to instill a higher level of independence in their children. The Japanese culture is also much different in the sense that it’s actually safe enough for young kids to be out alone without their parents.
The risk of abduction is nowhere compared to that of the United States’, but as with most countries, it probably won’t be much longer until even Japanese parents catch on and stop letting their young kids ride the subway alone. Most of us can certainly agree that four, five and even six years old is just way too young to be out alone without an adult.
6 Chileans Take Candy From Strangers
Never take candy from a stranger is the number one lesson we teach kids. We still send them out to go trick-or-treating despite the reports every year that show the horrific things parents have found in candy, such as nails, razors, and illicit substances. Halloween notwithstanding, the general rule of thumb is that if a kind-looking lady offers your kid a “homebaked” cookie on the bus, then you ever-so-politely feel compelled to decline just in case.
But if you’re in Chile, you better not decline at the risk of the community kicking you off the bus. Just kidding, they won’t, but you also probably wouldn’t be able to get away with declining as everyone will chime in about how your kid needs the cookie or candy. It probably won’t be long until Chileans catch on to the rest of the world’s way of not sharing. It really does all come back to ensuring that kids don’t end up accepting candy from a “kind-looking” man driving a van.
5 Kenyans Never Make Eye Contact
Although the vision of a newborn baby is pretty awful in the beginning, it rapidly ameliorates and eye contact with the parents becomes of vital importance. Some even seemingly do it straight after birth! No matter when it happens, eye gazing plays an important emotional and intellectual significance in a baby’s attachment and bonding with the parents and other people they see regularly.
As senseless as it might sound, Kisii people in Kenya avoid looking their babies in the eye for fear of making them feel in control. Interestingly, Kisii children do seem to grow up being less attention-seeking than kids from other cultures, but given the plentiful studies that have been done showing the importance of eye contact, this is one trend that we’re going to knock for being outdated. There are certainly better ways of teaching kids to be less attention-seeking.
4 Guatemalans Bathe Babies With Ice Cold Water
In Guatemala and other parts of Central America, babies are bathed in freezing water, a trend that is sure to horrify many Westerners. Unlike some other traditions on this list, this one isn’t rooted in religion or spirituality, but rather from the belief that it’s simply beneficial to the baby’s health. Cold water exposure is said to strengthen the immune system and prevent colds, and many around the world swear by this seemingly counter-intuitive method.
Most would probably agree though that this trend needs to stop. Babies have no way to voice their protests and decide for themselves that they don’t want to be submerged in cold water. If you wouldn’t do it, why force it on your baby? It would seem that for many, engaging in this belief is less about the baby’s health and more because it’s said to soothe diaper rashes and help baby sleep the night. Frankly, there are better methods for both of these problems.
3 Frequent Drinks For Croatian Kids
Everyone always hears about how in France, it’s not uncommon for parents to give their children some wine every once in a while. As shocking as this trend might be to some, it’s still not as bad as what goes on in Croatia. Studies have shown that 7% of Croatian first-graders are given alcohol more than six times per month. By the eighth grade, that percentage goes up to 30% for boys and 12% for girls, so one can only imagine how high this statistic goes by the time Croatian kids reach adolescence and adulthood.
Even more shocking is the reason for which Croatian parents don’t hesitate to give their children alcohol from a young age. As it turns out, many still hold onto the long-disproven belief that alcohol has nutritional value. Even during pregnancy, women continue to drink wine as it’s believed to be good for both the heart and the baby.
2 Careers Set In Stone For Armenian Babies
Imagine growing up with a dream of becoming a veterinarian, only to be told by your parents because you decided as a six-month-old that you would be a banker? Tough times for sure and not anything that we could ever imagine. In Armenia, babies as young as six months are encouraged to choose their own professions. More precisely, the moment that they get their first tooth, a celebration takes place known as “agra hadig” or “atam hatik”. Various objects representing different professions are placed on the floor in a circle. There might be a calculator for an accountant, money representing a banker, a stethoscope for a doctor, a microphone for an entertainer, etc. Whichever object the baby reaches for first is a sign of the child’s future profession.
Although the ritual sounds light-hearted and fun, the problem is that parents may then get stuck up on their child’s “chosen” profession and not give them the freedom to do anything else.
1 Unbreakable Kids In Most Countries
An increasing number of countries are adopting strict anti-spanking regulations, also extending towards all types of physical punishment. In most of the US and Canada, reasonable physical force is still allowed, but it probably won’t be much longer until it is completely banned. In Singapore, India, Qatar, and 24 others countries, parents can use corporal punishment as a form of discipline. Such extreme forms of punishment have absolutely no place being used on kids in any part of the world.
The only reassuring part is that the percentage of teachers using caning in schools has been on the decline, especially as younger and more progressive individuals take on teaching jobs. However, the same can’t be said about the at-home situation as many kids still continue to be taught to behave and listen through physical force.
References: HuffingtonPost.com, Metro.co.uk, BusinessInsider.com, and GlobalCitizen.org.