By: Dyona Priorita Dwiarso (Young Member of UKM Bahasa-FLAT)
Mentor: Oky Primadeka
Children are a hope for a nation as they are a gift that God entrust to us to care and raise. Hence, the right type of parenting is important as it will shape the children character when they have grown up and should face challenges in real life. Parenting refers to an attempt of raising a child with certain treatments. It commonly has three essential components which includes caring and protecting children from harm, keeping them in control to not harm other people, and optimizing their growth and development.
Parenting styles in the world can be different in some aspects and how it is purposed by parents such happens in western and eastern countries. The two blocks of countries each has their own style in parenting their children. The main differences between the two blocks of countries includes on how the parents help their children in shaping their characters, how they support their children development, and the effects of what kind approach they’ve used in parenting their children.
Parenting style is influenced by the culture of where the parents become part of a society. In western countries, the people emphasize freedom and independence values to their children since early age. They believe that these values are important because it enables them to express opinions and their individuality. These started from small things such as telling the ethics of sleeping to their children and separating children rooms from sleeping with parents. In addition, parents also monitor their children with a tool called baby monitor, which can provide consistent checking to children so parents do not need to always stay beside their children. It is believed as an effort to raise independence in children.
Meanwhile, to develop children motor skills, parents usually put food in directly front of their children. They stimulate their children to eat by themselves. During that time, children usually will try to use spoon or the other eating tools to pick the foods, and if they failed, it is common for them to cause a mess by throwing the foods around them. In contrast, the parents will stay calm as they believe it can support their children development.
In western countries, another treatment to develop children independence is Playdates, an occasion which is held by parents to gather their children in one place. Children are given opportunity to explore while playing with the other children whom they might not know. The children are also given access to exploring their environment freely. The activity can also be used by parents to know each other.
It is believed that parenting style in western countries is liberal. However, in facts, to embed discipline values on their children, parents still practice the values in many ways such as implementing grounding and timeout rules in a consistent basis over their children.
The description above shows that parenting style in western countries is implemented in distal way, a parenting style which prioritize eye contact and communication using words, and face expressions. This type of parenting sees children as a human, not a baby. It encourages children to know themselves and also allowed children to realize they can give control and influence to their environment. It is why children in western countries are seem to be more confident, expressive, and brave to speak their opinions. However, this kind of parenting style seems to slowly cause the children to feel that they are the controller over their environments. This is supported by the fact that children and parents in western countries are in an equivalent position.
In western countries, when the children pass the age of 18 or when they reach the age of maturity, most of them will leave their parent home. They will go to college or look for jobs. It is also not often for them to return to their parent home after this transition phase. They only return home in important occasion such as national holiday or they won’t come back home until they finish their study at college or after they have found a stable job. At this phase, parent sees their children as adults.
In western countries, although becoming a successful person is important, the parents do not limit their children’s ways to reach that accomplishment. Parents give their consent and support for their children. They don’t push their children towards their own will. Children are free to achieve their interests.
On the contrary, different from western countries, people in eastern countries emphasize body contact between mothers and their children in a long and consistent time. Taking bath together, bringing their children when going around, and sleeping in the same room until the children enter elementary schools level is considered normal.
Parents in the east really emphasize the importance of cleanliness and efficiency. It is why during meal time, children are usually fed by parents. It causes the children to have no opportunity to develop their ability and skills to eat by themselves.
Meanwhile, there are also Playdate in the east, where mothers usually meet and talk for a certain amount of time while they children play inside the house or outside the house with the other children. However, these mothers usually show hesitance in allowing their children to play outside of the comfort zone. Parents also usually do not give permission for children to explore their environment that resulted in them getting dirty.
Parenting ways in eastern culture shows that the type of parenting that they applied is proximal parenting. It is a parenting type that emphasizes close proximity between parents and their children. With this type pf parenting, children usually can follow instructions well. The constants presence of their parents provides comfort that causes eastern children to appear calmer. It is also caused children in eastern countries to not know how to deliver their emotions properly and tend to vent them in a wrong way. They also have strong dependency to their parents because they are used to being served. Rather than work hard in earning something, they more often wait to be served.
Children in the east usually don’t leave their parents until they get married, and some of them even live with their parents after having started a family. This is because of the habit of having strong sense of dependency towards their parents. Besides, parents are also stricter in terms of supporting their children interest. This is because they put a lot of hope on their children for a financial stability.
In summary, the right type of parenting is important to ensure optimal development for children, adding that using the right type of parenting that fit with children’s environment is needed. Western and eastern culture show that there are several differences in raising children in both culture, on how the parents build the children character, how they encourage their children development, and of course the effect that happened because of the differences. Although there are many things that influenced the style of parenting used by parents, there are no fixed formula to raise a perfect children as each parenting style have their own weakness and strength, depending on the situation.
The Importance of Parenting in Child Health. Feedback. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1113192/ accessed on 24 September 2017.
East vs West 5 Major Parenting Differences. Feedback. From: https://thenewageparents.com/major-parenting-differences-between-asian-and-western-parents/ accessed on 24 September 2017.
Tahukah Anda, Beda Pola Asuh di Asia dan Barat. Feedback. From: http://sahabatkeluarga.kemdikbud.go.id/laman/index.php?r=tpost/xview&id=3913 accessed on 24 September 2017.
 PMC: US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, The Importance of Parenting in Child Health, 1998, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1113192/). Accessed on 24 September 2017.
 The New Age Parents, Parenting Styles: East vs West 5 Major Parenting Differences, 2008, (https://thenewageparents.com/major-parenting-differences-between-asian-and-western-parents/). Acessed on 24 September 2017.
 Sahabat Keluarga Kementrian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Tahukah Anda, Beda Pola Asuh di Asia dan Barat, 2017, (http://sahabatkeluarga.kemdikbud.go.id/laman/index.php?r=tpost/xview&id=3913) Accessed on 24 September 2017.
 Op.cit. The New Age Parents.
 Op.cit. Sahabat Keluarga Kementrian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.