20 Things That Still Confuse Us About Parenting In Russia

If there is one thing that is confusing, it’s parenting. There are no set rules or styles to go by. Sure, there are people who give advice and recommendations, but parents have to learn on their own. So when comparing parenting styles to other countries, the styles can seem like night and day. And that’s exactly what we have in the case of parenting in Russia.

Parenting in Russia could not be any more different than the parenting styles that most parents employ in the U.S. Cultural differences don’t just stop at their way of life; it extends to how parents raise their children. From kids having to eat soup with every meal to education not being the top priority to kids having to earn their keep, the parenting style in Russia can seem like an entirely foreign concept. And that’s because it is.

While parenting in Russia can seem pretty confusing and overwhelming, it certainly has its advantages. In fact, it just might be something worth exploring. It might be a little difficult, but try not to be too startled when reading some of these. So, without much further ado, here are 20 things that still confuse us about parenting in Russia.

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20 Kids Have To Earn Their Keep


You hear that, moms? Kids have to start earning their keep, and what do I mean by earning their keep? It’s actually quite simple: chores!

Moms from Russia give their kids chores at very early ages. The thing about parenting in Russia is that it is pretty much straightforward. Want your kids to be taught responsibility? Give them a job to do. Need the floor cleaned? Give them a rag and tell them to clean the floor. In Russia, there’s no need to wait until kids are older to learn these valuable lessons. They start teaching them at an early age.

19 Kids Must Eat Soup With Every Meal


If you’re confused about this next one, join the club. Moms from Russia give their kids soup with every meal for dinner. And I’m not exaggerating. Soup always comes before the main course. Now, I’m sure that whenever you think of soup, you probably think about only having it when you’re sick, or are just not that hungry. Personally, I might not be able to handle all of that slurping noise, but at least if everyone is focused on having their soup, there would finally be some peace and quiet at the dinner table. So maybe it just might be worth it.

18 Kids Cannot Stay Indoors All Day


Sorry, kids, it doesn’t matter how cold it is, you need to go outside. At least that is the way that moms from Russia parent their kids. Sure, the winters in Russia can be cold, but that in no way stops parents from sending their kids outside to play. Instead of waiting for the weather to get warm, they just throw on some coats, scarves, and gloves and let their kids brave the elements. And let’s be honest, it’s not going to hurt them; it’s only going to help them gain some fresh air. I’m sure you’ll notice a big difference in your kids when they get to run around and play vs. when they don’t.

17 Learning Ballet Is A Must

I think that this next one, more than any other, really helps to outline the cultural differences in parenting. In Russia, kids are supposed to learn ballet. And no, I don’t mean only girls — I mean the boys, too. While this may seem very confusing for parents who aren’t from Russia, it makes more sense the more you think about it. Learning ballet is more about technique, focus, and following rules. Ballet is an art and requiring kids to learn it only helps them to be more cultured. Maybe it might be a good time to dust off those old ballet shoes.

16 Kids Set Their Own Bedtime


Kids set their own bedtime? Is this a joke? This can’t be! What parent would ever allow their kids to stay up as late as they want? I’m sure that you’ve noticed that while you may assign an 8:00 pm bedtime, rarely do your kids ever willingly go to sleep at that time. However, moms in Russia don’t really give their kids any bedtimes. Instead, these moms will allow their kids to stay up late until they eventually fall asleep on their own. While this might sound like a fantasy for most kids and parents, if it works for moms in Russia, there must be something to it.

15 Move Over Innovation, It’s All About The Past

Did you happen to read that recent book about parenting? It’s all the rage and it’s even an Amazon bestseller. No? Well, that’s because there is no book; I just made it up. However, the point is that we are much more focused on the latest trends, as compared to the moms in Russia. In Russia, parents are much more likely to do things based on tradition, as that is how things have always been done there. Tradition is very big in Russia and it is reflected in their parenting, in that parenting styles are passed down from the previous generation.

14 Strangers Help Out With Parenting

Move over stranger danger, and let’s give a big warm welcome to stranger parenting. Now, before anyone misinterprets this, I think it’s important to get a few things straight. In Russia, parents let the village help with parenting. Moreover, members of the village are always ready to give their opinions on different matters if they don’t like what they are seeing. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could ever get used to not only strangers giving me parenting advice, but then taking that advice and actually using it. To each their own, I guess.

13 Once Kids Start Something, They’re Not Allowed To Stop

Have you ever noticed how we allow kids to take up different instruments or sports, only for them to quickly drop it for something else? You start taking your child for piano lessons, but then in a few weeks, they decide they don’t want to do it anymore. Well, in Russia, this isn’t allowed. That’s because commitment is a very serious thing and not to be taken lightly. In North America, if a kid wants to change from basketball to baseball, it’s up to them. However, in Russia, once you pick an activity, you are going to stick to it. It’s all about discipline.

12 The More Layers, The Better

It gets cold in Russia. Did I also mention that it gets cold in Russia? But more importantly, I feel like I should probably mention that it gets cold in Russia.

Moms in Russia aren’t in the business of letting their kids decide whether or not they want to wear a jacket outside. Instead, they are the ones who decide whether or not a jacket is needed. And these moms do not take this matter lightly. While many of us may prefer to stay in on a cold day, moms in Russia can be seen bundling up their little one and facing the cold weather head-on.

11 Education Isn’t The Top Priority


Good luck trying to wrap your heads around this next one. While you may be used to education being the most important thing when it comes to children and parenting, in Russia, this just isn’t the case. And it’s not that they don’t place a strong emphasis on education in Russia, because they absolutely do. It’s just that family comes before everything, including education. This seems to go against everything we’re used to. In fact, we’re used to sacrificing family time and/or events in favor of education and studying. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

10 Don’t Even Think About Wearing Shoes Indoors

All you need to know for this next one is that when it comes to walking around your house, or any house for that matter, you have to take your shoes off. Whether that comes as a surprise to you or not, for these moms from Russia, that’s just the way it is. However, it doesn’t end there. While you are not allowed to wear shoes inside, you are required to wear slippers inside. So you’re basically trading one pair of shoes for another. Regardless of the reason behind this, there’s no denying that it does keep the floors clean.

9 The Teacher Is Always Right

There is a long-held belief in this country that when it comes to school, the student is right, and the teacher is wrong. However, just ask a mom from Russia, and you’ll soon learn that they have much more respect for their teachers. For them, it is the teacher who is to be believed; not the student. Moreover, kids are taught to respect and obey their teachers from the day they start school. As much as you would expect a mom to side with their kid, in Russia, moms are much more likely to take the side of the teacher. It’s probably a good idea to be teacher’s pet in Russia.

8 Kids Have To Eat What Their Parents Eat

Show of hands: who here thinks that kids would prefer to eat McDonald's over the veggie couscous you made for dinner? Odds are kids are more interested in some McNuggets than whatever you spent time on whipping up in the kitchen. While you may be tempted to satisfy your child’s craving, while you eat something else, that’s just not how it works for moms in Russia. These moms don’t make separate meals for their kids for dinner. Whatever the parents eat, the kids are going to eat that, too. I guess when kids don’t get a choice of what to have, they can’t complain about it.

7 Don’t Ever Say No To Grandma And Grandpa

Try and wrap your heads around this next one. Do you know how most grandparents retire and move to warmer climates, like Florida? Well, in Russia, things are a little different. And by a little different, I mean very different.

In Russia, grandparents play a big role in parenting. In fact, grandparents will usually live with the parents and their kids. And if on the off chance the grandparents don’t live with the parents, the kids will still see them as much as possible. Try to think of grandparents as a second pair of parents. This definitely saves money on babysitters.

6 Doctors Are Not To Be Trusted

Wow! Talk about polar opposites. Who doesn’t trust doctors? I thought doctors were pretty much some of the only people you can trust nowadays. Nevertheless, as much as we may trust our doctors, this is not the case for moms in Russia.

In Russia, the state hospitals are an outdated thing of the past. Therefore, moms are often playing the role of doctors themselves. And when these moms do take their kids to the doctor, they often take their recommendations with a grain of salt. Moms in Russia will often seek a second and third opinion for even a minor ailment.

5 New Moms Have To Take Time Off


If you’re a working mom, chances are that even if you are lucky enough to get time off after giving birth, it’s probably not going to be anywhere near as much time as a mom in Russia would get off. Brace yourselves for this; in Russia, maternity leave can last three years. Yes, years with a “y.” Moreover, expecting moms stop working at month seven of pregnancy. While many moms go back to work when their child turns one, they are still receiving pay for part of their salary up until the child is 18 months old. Ultimately, if these moms don’t wish to take all that time off, they have to option to return to work in a few months.

4 Children Don’t Get The Same Amount Of Praise

This probably seems like a pretty foreign concept when it comes to parenting. I mean, you’ve probably praised your little one at least a hundred times already today. Not that there’s anything wrong with praising your kid. It’s just that when it comes to moms in Russia, they don’t hand out praise very easily. And for good reason. These moms feel that if they praise their kids too much, then all of that praise will go to their heads. That’s something that most moms in the U.S. don’t seem to worry about. If you praise your kids for something as simple as participating, it may not push them to go further.

3 Children Don’t Get Much Privacy

Children don’t get any privacy? That doesn’t sound right. Don’t kids have their own rooms and have locks on their doors so that they can do whatever it is they do in private? Am I missing something here? Nevertheless, in Russia, kids don’t nearly have that kind of privacy. Or any privacy for that matter. First things first, kids in Russia don’t necessarily have their own rooms. Nor do those rooms have locks on the door. Moreover, in feeling immensely responsible for the well-being of their kids, parents in Russia feel that they should always be checking in on them.

2 Parents Are Involved In All Aspects Of The Childs’ Life


“Hey, where are you going?” “Out.” “With who?” “Friends.” “Okay, have fun.”

I’m sure most parents have had a similar conversation with their kids, if not that exact one. However, don’t expect to get away with something like that with a mom from Russia, because they like to know everything that is going with their kids all the time. Kids and teens in Russia are expected to let their parents know where they’re going, when they’re going, who they’re going with, and when they’ll be home. This contributes to the belief that parents in Russia will make sure that their kids do what they believe is best for them.

1 Kids Move Out When They’re 28

Buckle up for this next one because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. When the kids turn 18, they’re expected to go off to college, graduate, get a job, and move out. That’s just the way it is. Children aren’t supposed to live at home into their 20's. However, you will be surprised to learn that this parenting style is not the same in Russia. That’s because in Russia, kids live at home well into their 20's. Before even thinking about moving out, these kids are expected to have saved up enough money to buy a house and are soon to be married.

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