Monday, 22 August 2016

Old school Mediterranean vs. modern British parenting


I’m not sure if it’s the generational gap or the cultural gap, but I've noticed there is a vast difference between the parenting styles I see around me and the advice my family have been giving me the past few months...


Sleep

Britain:
Babies go to bed at 7. If your baby doesn’t go to bed at 7pm and sleep until 7am, he is what is called a ‘difficult sleeper’.

Mediterranean:
Babies don’t sleep and neither do you now.

Feeding

Britain:
‘Breast is best’ which means many mothers are aiming for an ‘exclusively breastfed’ (‘EBF’) baby. If you are in public you need to either ‘find a quiet spot’ to feed, or use a breastfeeding cover, or be somewhere ‘breastfeeding and pram friendly’, or politely leave your baby to starve.

Mediterranean:
Everyone mix feeds.

Routine:

Britain:
The baby will have a bath each evening, to ‘get him ready for bed.’ Some mothers read Gina Ford books without throwing them out of the window.

Mediterranean:
It is generally accepted that one should feed and wash one’s child on a reasonably regular basis.

Development:

Britain:
There’s countless (pricey) ‘classes’ for mum and baby where your child is stimulated with shapes, colours and sounds appropriate to his age in such a way to encourage optimal development in your little one (‘LO’).

Mediterranean:
Until the baby is crawling you just need to focus on keeping it and yourself alive.

Discipline:

British:
You’re not supposed to shout to your child. Mothers often soften the blow whilst reprimanding their toddler by using terms of endearment such as ‘sweetheart’ or explanations such as  ‘I know you’re upset, but…’

Mediterranean:
WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘WHY’? BECAUSE I MADE YOU, I COULD THROW YOU IN THE BIN AND MAKE ANOTHER ONE OF YOU TOMORROW. – Popular Italian saying.

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