If we did a poll of Canadian and American moms and asked them if they had to pick a country that was most like their parenting ways and customs, chances are they would say each other. Canada and America are neighbours, so it would seem safe to assume that they are a lot alike, and they are to a certain extent.
However, they may only be similar at face value. If we look deeper into laws and cultural practices we may begin to see a lot of ways in which they are different. No two parents in either Canada or the US parent the exact same way, but there are noticeable trends that can be noted between the two countries. So, we broke it down into different areas of parenting that a lot of moms find important.
When one thinks about North America, their mind immediately goes to the USA because it appears to be the bigger (population wise) and stronger country. This makes Americans proud and Canadians, well, we don’t really mind that much. Canada has always seemed like America’s more laid-back and relaxed little brother. That may seem like an insult, but Canadians would prefer it that way. Canadians know what is important to them, and they just stay calm.
There also does seem to be a sibling rivalry between the two countries, who does everything better? That answer is probably going to be subjective to where a person lives and how patriotic they are. However, we can look at how the two countries parent their children and possibly come up with a pretty idea.
15 Who Pays More To Be A Mom?
What sets a lot of Canadians and Americans apart is their healthcare system. Canada is run on a universal health care system, while America is not. This means that Canadians are paying into their healthcare system through their taxes so when they need an operation, or any other medical procedure done, they do not have to pay for it. Americans are not that lucky, and unless they have private insurance, they could be spending a lot of money on healthcare.
Canadians can walk into a hospital, give birth, stay the night and then go home with absolutely no medical bills.
Americans without insurance are stuck paying thousands to have children. If a Canadian wants a private room at the hospital, then they do have to pay some extra fees, but luckily a lot of our employee medical benefits cover this cost as well. Not to mention that Canadians do not have to pay for any of all the injuries their children will get in the coming years.
14 Maternity Leave Is Worlds Apart
Maternity leave is very important, and one country is among the best and the other is among the worst. Canada takes this round again. Canadians are eligible to take up to one year off at 55% of their income. The woman must have worked a set number of hours to claim the whole thing, but that normally is not an issue. Again, the money we are getting paid is paid for by the government with all the tax dollars we have been putting in. Sure, we may pay a lot of taxes but when we see these benefits we don’t normally mind.
Americans have one of the worst maternity leaves, and it is shocking. The most they are allotted is 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their jobs. This results in a lot of woman having to go back to work early because they can not afford to take so much time off work without getting paid, even if it means that they must leave their newborn with a babysitter.
America really needs to fix this.
13 Who Has Healthier Children?
The big question has arrived, who has healthier children? The obvious answer would be that Canadian children must be healthier than American, and that is the correct answer. However, if we look at it by the numbers they are not winning by much and there is still a lot of room for improvement. First there is the fact that Canadians have access to universal health care, which means people have easier access to medical care.
If we look at the rates of obesity in both countries, we can also clearly see that Canada is doing it better. According to the Centres for Disease Control, the rate of Canadians with obesity is 13%. Americans rate is much higher, at about 17.5%.
Both countries need to work harder to get those numbers down, but it does appear that Canada wins this round as well.
12 Let’s Talk Education
A big part of being a parent is making sure that our children get the best education they can. This sets them up for a successful life, so which country has a better school system? Interestingly, to find the answer to this question we look at real estate. Real estate can tell you a lot about how the systems are, as people will flock to areas that are known for having good schools, neighbourhoods and other amenities.
When searching for a house in Canada, no one really questions if it is in a good school district.
This is because Canada has a strong school system across the board and they are all at the same level of high standard.
When you look at real estate in America, a question that often gets asked is if the house is located in a good school district. Also, houses are priced based on if they are in a good school district, with people paying more for the good schools.
11 Who's The Happiest?
It is really hard to say which country is happier. Happiness is subjective, and it is hard to pin point the country that has the ‘happiest people.’ Lucky for us, in this day, there is a study for everything and sure enough a group have people have done a survey to award the happiest country. There was a 2015 Happiness Report done based on data from a Gallup Poll.
They looked at factors such as income, health, social connectedness, trust in government and even how much people in specific countries donated to charity.
Canada came in at number 5 out of over 150 countries.
They were only beat by Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark and Norway. The United States of America came in at number 10. 10 out of 150 is still a really good ranking, just not as good as 5.
10 Which Leader Is Looking Out For Mom’s Rights?
If we look at the world today it is not surprising that one of our entries was going to be about the political state of the world. Judging a country based on political views is hard, because every 4 years or so, it changes. If we had looked at this topic a few years ago, there is a very good chance the United States would have won this section. However, we need to look at the world today, and unfortunately Canada has come up on top (again).
Neither country's political landscape is great right now, however, the President is not doing any mother any favours.
The States has been very vocal on its disdain for women’s rights, such as her rights when it comes to her reproductive health. His views are definitely conservative, and that does not seem to do women and mothers very much. Canada’s government is more liberal and so are their views. Viewing women as equal citizens and encouraging them to make their own decisions with minimal involvement from the government.
9 What Do We Want For Our Children?
Every mother (and parent for that matter) has certain things they wish for their child. A lot of the time, these are opportunities and chances that they didn’t have as a child. We always want better for our children. This is the one category where Canada and America seem to be on the same page, because it appears that for the most part we all want our children to have the same values and traits. The next few entries are going to discuss a poll that was done by Tableau Public. If you want to get a more detailed look at this poll you can find it here: http://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/american-canadian-parents-different
Canada and the US match up pretty good for most of these values.
The highest being tolerance. It seems both countries want their children to be tolerant of others. Canada ranked this at 83% and America ranked it at 79%.
8 Which Mom Is More Religious? Is That Good Or Bad?
Religion has always been something that we just don’t talk about. You don’t bring up your own religion and you definitely do not push your religion on other people. America has a stricter definition of separating church and state, where Canada’s is not so cut and dry. This leads me to wonder which country has more moms who are in to a structured form of religion?
If we look at that same poll, we can see a vast difference in the percentage of moms who think religion is something important for their children to know.
In Canada, 30% of moms think it is a good idea to introduce religion to their children. While in America, that number is almost double at 51% of moms who think religious faith is a must have.
Now, we can not say which one is better because that is up to personal preference.
7 Does Someone Have Better Manners?
Canadians have a large stereotype about being extremely polite. Well, it is not a stereotype if it is true right? Canadians are very polite, but they are still human and can be pretty rude as well. Americans are the same, there are some that are very polite and some that are just downright rude. So, which country’s moms value good manners in their children? You would think both of them, right?
Well, Canada has an almost 10% hike on top of America when it comes to manners.
47% of Canadian moms think their children should be completely unselfish or think of other people before themselves. America’s number is slightly lower, coming in at 38%. This would lead us to believe that Americans are teaching their young to look out for themselves in this world, which may not be a bad thing, but it won’t always be good.
6 A Cultural Upbringing
At first glance, it appears that when it comes to multiculturalism that America would be the winner. This could be an illusion since America has a much larger population than Canada does. Don’t let this fool anyone, there is much more to being multicultural than just the amount of people you have in your country who hail from somewhere else.
Americans refer to this as a ‘melting pot’ while Canadians refer to it as a ‘mosaic’. A true mixing of cultures into one.
There are very few places in Canada that are strictly one race or culture, children are surrounded by people who are from a different country than them and who look different than them.
This means that they are truly enveloped in different food, languages and cultures. There are still large sections of America that are predominantly one race and culture.
5 Tough Love From Mom
Discipline is not something anyone likes to do, but every mom will reach a point where she has to discipline her child. This is not reflective of which country you live in, just if you have living, breathing children. There are what seems like a million different ways to discipline your children today, so it is an important aspect of parenting. So who does it better?
Again, this is another one that is subjective, because it is based on your personal beliefs when it comes to what you think is right when it comes to discipline.
Studies have shown that Canadian moms are more lenient when it comes to behaviour that their children do.
A study that was published in the 2010 issue of Journal of Adolescence found that Canadian moms are more easy-going when it comes to punishing their children. They tend to let a lot go when it comes to negative behaviour and their punishments are less severe than most of the other countries in the world. They may be seen as push-overs, but they sure are relaxed.
4 Get Out And Be Active!
Part of being healthy is getting outside and being active. We live in a generation where technology is king, and it can be hard to force our little kids to get outside and play. This is true for both Americans and Canadians. We still try our hardest to get our children out the door and get some fresh air and exercise, but who does it better? Who actually accomplishes this Olympic sized event?
Canadian moms appear to be doing this better. In Canada, it is not rare to find a family all outside on a warm day.
Whether they are going for a bike ride, or spending the day at a local farmer’s market, they all get out there. Canadian families also seem to be more environmental friendly. Three of their biggest cities; Vancouver, Calgary and even Toronto are all ranked highest on the green index when it comes to North America.
3 Independent Freedom! (Don’t Let Utah Fool You)
Utah was just in the news and social media because they have passed ‘free range parenting’ laws that mean that young children are allowed to go to the park or walk to school without adult supervision. Still may not be smart or safe, but it is now legal. This may make you think that America is leading the way when it comes to children having a larger sense of independence.
When you actually break it down, it appears that Canadians are more relaxed when it comes to letting their children play outside with minimal or no adult supervision.
This could be due to a bigger reason, such as community safety. Canadians are known for leaving their doors unlocked and not being armed in their house. This must mean that Canadians feel safer in their neighbourhood and are more willing to let their children outside to play in the front yard while mom watches from afar.
2 Let’s Talk Safety
There is danger everywhere, neither country is going to win in this category, because nowhere in this world is safe. Some are safer than others, and it would appear at first glance that Canada wins this round as well. We need to address the big elephant in the room, which is affecting children and that is gun safety. Canadians are much more strict in this category. This does not mean that there is no violence in Canada, however it is incredibly harder to get ahold of one in Canada than it is in the United States.
According to the Washington Post, in 2011 the rate of fatalities related to this issue was about 1 in 215, 000 people. In America, it was 1 in 28, 000. Those numbers alone are shocking. Mass attacks are not a thing that happens in Canada, at least not at the rate that it occurs in the United States. It already has a lot of mothers worried when it comes to sending their children to school every day. Who wants to live with that kind of fear?
1 Hockey Mom Vs. Football Mom
Let’s talk sports. When you think of Canada, you think of Beavers, Poutines and Hockey. Canada is a hockey nation, and they are pretty darn good at it. When you think of America, you think of tailgating and Football. They go crazy for their football and the super bowl is one of the biggest events of the year. This means that we have two types of moms; hockey moms and football moms. A lot of children in Canada are placed in Hockey from a very young age and the same goes with American families and football.
It is an engrained part of each country’s culture, and they are both very passionate about their love for the sport. So, which one is better; a hockey mom or a football mom? Well, this is a trick question, because the answer is they are both the same. They are both fun, a little nutty and you better not be a referee who makes a bad call on their kid. They are passionate moms enjoying their kids playing a sport they love. Simple as that.