Child raising, internationally

Somehow, I stumbled across a Cup of Jo series on motherhood around the world.  Fascinating (except for Australia, naturally).   It’s title is # of surprisingly things about motherhood in…

Here’s what I’d like…

– 3 hours every day with a kraamzorg for the first eight days after birth in The Netherlands.  How helpful would that be?

– On a lack of tantrums: I have never ever witnessed a public meltdown. If a baby were to get fussy in public, a bunch of strangers would immediately swoop down to pick him up, bounce him and play with him before it reaches a fever pitch – Who wouldn’t want to live in Turkey?

– it seems Islamic cultures often are in desert cultures which are HOT, so you see the similarities int he night time life, and kids not sleeping early in the evening, such as in Abu Dhabi

– how cool does this playground look, even as an adult.  Again, great Netherlands


– I was surprised that Norway was criqued for their ‘sameness’. They often seem ‘the’ way in life, in fairness, in social equality.  But $3o0 for a month of care for a 1 year old from 8am to 5pm?  That is awesome!

– sushi is (not surprisingly) not off limits in Japan!  Well, naturally, right?

– finding out the baby’s gender in India is against the law.  I’m sure the reasons aren’t just cause they are ‘surprise loving’ but still…

– it blows me away to get maternity leave asking for you to leave your job four (Norway) to six (Germany) weeks before birth.  Mum had my youngest brother on her last day before school holidays started!  I’m convinced I’d rather have the time with bub, but we’ll see!

– Germans are hilarious – they aren’t all about ‘sharing’ but standing up for your rights.  So when a toddler snatches a toy, they kids are encouraged to make a stand and take it back! Ha!

– the minimalist in me loves The Netherlands and their kindermarkets – where kids, on Kings Day in April, sell their toys, or somehow otherwise ‘sell’ fun like lemonade.  How great is that, a system for secondhand kids toys!


Before anyone says I’m clucky, it’s true.  But at 21, I wrote about the experiences of L’Ecole Maternelle in France.  It just fascinates me how different countries manage children, childhood and the world around them.

There’s also reports on Congo, Northern Ireland and Mexico.  Eat your heart out!

9 Replies to “Child raising, internationally”

  1. I've enjoyed this series of hers for years as well! 🙂 Raising kids has always fascinated me – including before I wanted my own.

    Funny you mention the sharing thing – I just read an article at the doctor's office about how Americans teach sharing is silly. What usually happens is one kid is playing with something and another kid wants it, and tries to take it for themselves. When the first kid gets upset, all the parents start yelling about "share your toy" and "it's his/her turn now" but the article said that just encourages the snatching in the first place. Shouldn't we teach the kid to play with something no one else is using or wait for the toy they want (similar to what an adult would do if all the copy machines were in use )? Very interesting!

    1. Ah there you go – nothing new for you 😉 But it was such a great and interesting series!!

      I agree, we should teach the ability to at least 'take turns' which is how adult life largely works, you know, if you both want the same bit of the newspaper at the coffee shop. But yeah, it's interesting the cultural differences.

  2. Thank you again for the site! I’ve been DEVOURING the articles. SO interesting, and I’m just in awe as to some things countries do.. Gripe water with alcohol for one (..ergg.. i think I drank that as a baby).. and others, I’m going to implement (the toughness of the Norwegians..)

    1. I thought you might! They are lovely, enhanced by the great images too! The Gripe water was VERY interesting, but I love the whole 'sugar + alcohol would help anyone!'.

  3. I meant to read just one or two of those but got sucked right in! They were a great read.

    It's quite reassuring to see that some things we do in Australia (shared with the US, I think) are not as mainstream elsewhere. e.g. the obsession with early education which isn't really as much of a 'thing' in Berlin. It helps to keep perspective!

    I was a Sydney 'expat' with a Prep (Kingergarten) age child (gosh, it doesn't seem that long ago!) so I loved the Sydney one, it really rang true for me.

    1. I found it harder to read Sydney's one with an open mind. I'm sure if I moved away, I might see it more clearly :p I do like that play is more of the 'thing' in other countries – it's not like Germany ends up with dummies at the end of high school or university either, so they obviously know what they are doing!

  4. Just checked out two of the countries. Love the photos of Sydney. Think I might explore more inner harbour beaches this summer. We rarely went because Mr S likes waves. But time for a change.

    1. I'm with Mr S, I love waves too – at least for swimming, not for kayaking! My boss confessed his 11.30pm email on a Saturday night was cause his baby was up fussing – it's nice to know he's human and shares his parenting struggles.

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