Parenting Your Teenager – A Comparative Study of India and the US


Your little kid is now entering the teenage stage, is it? Well, it is time for that ideal parenting stage! A slight hitch in this phase can affect your child in the latter part of his or her life. That’s not all! This is surely the most rebellious period in your child’s life; hence, you need to deal with him or her in a very calm manner.

Parenting Your Teenager

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Now comes the most important query – how many times has it happened that your child has come up to you after a good scolding and stated that ‘his friend’s mother did not scold him so much’? It is from here that differences in parenting crop up.  

Going by the Indian standards of parenting, it is extremely authoritative. In stark comparison, the Western standards of parenting are more concerned with ‘learning by means of experience.’

So, what is that difference? How does it change perspectives? Scroll down and get an idea of the same!

India V/S West: How parenting differs!

1). Sleeping Together v/s Sleeping Separately

In Western culture, at a very tender age, the kids are taught to sleep separately. Not only do they have their own rooms, but their private space is also separated from their parents. Given that their economic condition in most cases is superior to that of India, parents can afford to provide their child with this sense of privacy.

In comparison to this, in India, this concept of sleeping separately is not specifically marked. In close to 80 – 85% of cases, the economic condition is not viable for the child to get a separate zone for them. Hence, the concept of privacy is minimal in case of Indian parenting style.

2). Authoritative Nature v/s Leniency

As they say – rules and standards set up within a specific limit are good for the growth of teenagers. Most parenting blogs state that parents should be strict with their kids to a certain extent. This helps them think twice before doing some work or taking a decision. Though excess authority can get into their ‘nerves’ at times, however, if balanced carefully, it is a necessary part of growing up.

Now in comparison to Indian style, Western parenting style is extremely lenient. Not only is the teenager given ample freedom, but also a style of punishment is ‘by Indian standards’ lighter. The idea is to make the teenager realize his or her mistake and ensure that it does not happen again.

3). Leaving home at 18 v/s Attending regular classes

In Western nations, leaving home at 18 to pursue higher studies is a common affair. Most students look at this opportunity as a chance to become independent and have professional and personal lives of their own. The primary emphasis is on setting up a life on their own and be known as a personal capacity.

In India, however, children mostly attend day colleges and even if they have to go out of their homes for academic reasons, the conditions set forth are way different. The approach in most cases is restricted, especially for girls.

Also, with feudal property and family business concept still existing, children are expected to take up this responsibility rather than pursuing their goals.

Given that societies on both ends of the world are based on certain ancient cultures, their approaches to the concept of parenting differ. With due respect to both the approaches, an ideal condition would be bringing some positive aspects of both into raising your kid!

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