The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

What surprises Americans in our children


When we arrived in the States, I immediately noticed that American children are not like ours. Their behavior, statements - they differed in almost everyone, writes Oleksandra Ukrainko, author of the channel "Between New York and Boston" on Yandex Zen. My children became objects of observation for new American friends and school teachers. They did not miss the opportunity to ask me about the rules and principles in our country, and the question of raising children in Russia also did not go unnoticed. What turned out to be unusual for Americans in our children?

Фото: Depositphotos


Compared to American children, mine (not the most obedient children) were a model of obedience. Even after six months of living in the United States, when the children felt themselves already here and everything became familiar to them, they still remained obedient. My eldest daughter tried not to stain her clothes, asked me if she and the youngest could go with other children to the next playground, and instantly came when she was called.

"What are you doing with them?" - the American women were surprised.

"Some Russian secrets of education?" - asked mothers who could not shout to their children.

The American children with whom my daughter talked sometimes did not even pay attention to what their parents told them, their clothes were mercilessly torn and dirty, and there was no question of coming up and asking permission. It seemed that the motto of American children: "I want - and there are no obstacles."

Help in household chores

An American friend of mine who came to visit me once witnessed our familiar family situation. I called my eldest daughter and reminded her that a mountain of dishes awaited her, which was formed after the preparation of dinner and preparations for the whole week for the whole family. Our family has rules: I cook the food, and the responsibility for the dishes lies with the eldest daughter. Masha (daughter), of course, was not delighted, but, grabbing a cooling cheese cake from a plate, she went to put on an apron.

From the face of my American girlfriend, I realized that something was wrong.

“This is child abuse,” she whispered softly and looked around.

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Elena was one of ours, she came to the States at the age of 7 with her parents, and now at 37 she was American to the roots of her hair and also raised two children. She explained that American children are not forced to do anything around the house. All their responsibilities may be covered is keeping their room clean. All other household chores should be done solely at the request of the child, but not under duress.

In this particular case, I had to ask my daughter: "Masha, do you want to help your mother and wash the mountain of dishes?" Ha, yes, I even know her answer, and I would wash the dishes. But the point is different. If any other conscientious American were in Elena's place (and in our area they are all like that), then, leaving me, he would immediately call the guardianship service, and it is not known how it would all end. Elena, of course, did not call anywhere, but she gave me a lecture (by the way, lecturing is very American) that my behavior is a violation of the rights of the child and it is better not to do this in the USA.

By the way, a few months after this incident, Masha, returning from school, came up to me with an interesting conversation.

“Mom, today at school we were told about children's rights and told that I should not do what I don’t want… (it was grade 5). This means that I should not wash the dishes (and I think: here, the child was brainwashed), because this is compulsion! "

I don’t remember how I got out and convinced my daughter to continue helping me in the kitchen, but the fact remains: any help in household chores from a child in the United States should be at his request, and not under coercion.

Фото: Depositphotos

Pocket money

My American friend was very surprised that at home my eldest daughter (and we left when she was 10) did not receive pocket money. When I admitted that I myself, as a child, did not receive them from my parents, she cryptically stated that this "explains a lot."

The fact is that American children, starting from the age of 5-6, regularly receive pocket money from their parents. With this money, they can buy themselves sweets, small toys, office supplies. After the children start receiving pocket money, the constant children's “want” is no longer satisfied, the children are offered to buy “Wishlist” for their own money. Here comes the realization that sometimes you don’t need to spend everything at once, that you can save up, and then make more expensive purchases.

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There is no specific set amount, it can be $ 5 per week or $ 15 per month, all at the discretion and according to the parents' capabilities. According to American psychologists, the main thing is not the amount, but the rule: do not pay in advance, the amount should be the same in a certain period of time, and not be late with payments. Pocket money in childhood is an important tool for developing a child's rational money management skills in the future. You, in fact, imitate receiving a salary, and the child must learn to manage the received finances: spend, save them, give them and understand that the next portion will only be on the next day of payment.

I know for myself: it’s hard for me to plan expenses and I’m very spontaneous in spending. Perhaps the reason lies in the lack of pocket money in childhood and the ability to train on candy purchases.

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