West vs East: How Do the Cultures Raise Their Children Differently?

Mar 15, 2019 | 7 months ago | Read Time: 4 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

raise the children

The socio-economic and cultural differences between the two worlds has far-reaching consequences, and as a result, the roles of children vary significantly. Unlike in the West, where greater significance is given to independence – both personal and financial, there is a greater emphasis on familial devotion in the East.

The term, specifically coined to describe young adults who, after graduation return to stay with their ageing parents, is “boomerang children”[1]. The parenting styles significantly differ from the West to the East; a wider emphasis in the East is given to education, discipline and work ethic, while ingraining the cultural values deep-rooted within the society.

In countries like the United States, parents believe in a more holistic approach, letting their children explore, thereby nurturing a more creative mindset. It is often seen that children are given more freedom to pursue their ambitions, and are encouraged to harbor an independent outlook.

Key differences in parenting styles

Pew Research Center conducted a survey in 2015, to better understand the different parenting styles, and their correlation to their children’s success. When it comes to the gender gap in parenting styles, it was observed that the parents in the United States tend to give their children enough freedom to carve their own path. 

gender gap chart

Source: Pew Research Center [2]

In contrast, it was observed that the Indian parents spend most time helping their children with their homework.

 

Parents and children bar chart

Source: Times of India (Statista) [3]

Investing in their child’s education

It was also observed that the countries in the East lead the pack, in terms of the average spend from primary school to the undergraduate level. Countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and India are in the top 15, once again highlighting the tighter financial bonds between the parents and the children. The parents in the East, according to multiple studies, tend to invest more in the future of their children, whether it is in education, extracurriculars or in their physical and mental development.

child education spending chart

Source: World Economic Forum [4]

Importance of securing child’s future via financial planning

Expenses are mounting in today’s world, and the minimum wage required to pay the bills, whilst focusing on savings is increasing at a rapid pace. It is important to start planning for the future, and with the additional expenses new parents have to incur, it is never too soon to start planning for your child’s future.

Unit-linked child life insurance plans have been gaining popularity around the globe for the past few years. Not only do they help in investing for the future of one’s children, but they also provide protection to the kids in case something unfortunate happens to their parents. For instance, Aegon Life’s iMaximize Insurance Plan offers a combination of protection and market – linked returns. Allowing you to choose from as many as 6 different funds, the plan gives you the flexibility to choose the fund that works best for your risk-return profile at any given moment. Moreover, the plan also allows you the flexibility to change the coverage amount depending on the life-stage you are in, with the chance to upgrade the amount for the marriage and birth of your children.

Filial piety in the West versus the East

According to a survey conducted by Center for Retirement Research, only 3% of young adults care for their aging parents in the United States.

child education spending chart

Source: CRR [5]

Meanwhile, most of the Indian young adults tend to either live with their parents, or stay in the same village or town as their parents, to take care of them.

raising a child statisticsSource: Central Statistics Office [6]

Thus, we can draw parallels between the cultural upbringing and the responsibility taken up by the young adults in the West and the East, and how diverse the cultures are, in terms of raising children, and the amount of care given to the aging family members.

Citation:

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jun/29/boomerang-children-can-be-good-for-family-relationships-study

[2] http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/12/17/parenting-in-america/

[3] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/indian-parents-spend-the-most-time-helping-kids-with-homework/articleshow/64203900.cms

[4] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/08/parents-in-these-countries-spend-the-most-on-their-childrens-education/

[5] http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/IB_17-11.pdf

[6] http://mospi.nic.in/sites/default/files/publication_reports/ElderlyinIndia_2016.pdf

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