The Difference Between East and West Parenting


1. Eastern Parenting

According to Heidi Keller, a psychologist from the University of Osnabruck, parenting in Asia is known as proximal parenting. The hallmark of proximal parenting is the closeness and physical contact between mother and child that is built over a long period of time. If you pay attention, the average parent in Asia, especially in Indonesia, still often sleeps with their children, even up to the age of six.

In addition, parents in Asia also still bathe their children and carry their babies when traveling or just feeding them food. However, Asian parents tend to be more disciplined than European or American parents. They always monitor the development of their children to adulthood. Parents often take part and give directions when the child decides something.

Children who are educated in the eastern way are generally able to control their emotions, behavior and attention. They are also more obedient and can follow instructions from adults. Children with eastern-style parenting also have a character that tends to be calm because their parents are always there by their side and really understand their children’s needs.

Even though they have a calmer and more submissive character, children who are raised in the eastern way are generally less good at conveying emotions, so they often express them in the wrong way. They also tend to be less confident, passive, and less able to make decisions because every decision they make depends on their parents.

2. Western (Distal) Parenting

If eastern parenting is known as proximal, then western parenting is often referred to as distal. This western style of parenting emphasizes eye contact, uses words and facial expressions. Parents who apply western-style parenting are more liberating for their children, so western children tend to be more independent.

When watching western films, mothers must often see parents in America or Europe letting their children sleep in their own rooms from infancy. Westerners also often give praise and rarely criticize the child to protect the child’s self-esteem. In essence, western parents treat children like adults,

The advantage of this parenting style is that it encourages children to recognize themselves from an early age. In this way, children realize that they are influential and have control over the environment around them. This makes children who are raised in the western way have more self-confidence, are more expressive, independent, and dare to organize and argue.

Unfortunately, because children feel they have control, they may feel like “masters” in their environment. Children will also do anything to get their wishes fulfilled, including crying or breaking rules.

So, which parenting style is better? Both of these parenting styles are actually equally good. Everything depends on the father and mother. As parents, fathers and mothers of course must continue to learn to shape the character of the perfect child. Parents can combine the two types of parenting above to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.