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To a great extent, culture determines the way children are brought up and raised. Child rearing practices vary from culture to culture. Families in all societies have three basic goals for their children (LeVine, 1974). First, families have the survival goal, which promotes the physical survival and health of the child. Second, there is the economic goal, which is used to foster skills and behavioral capacities that the child needs for economic self-maintenance as an adult. Lastly, there is the self-actualization goal, which is used in order to foster behavioral capabilities for maximizing cultural values such as morality, religion and achievement. While these basic goals that parents have for their children are similar, culture can produce variations in the behavior and beliefs of parents. These differences in behavior and beliefs the parents hold affect their child-rearing practices. The child-rearing practices among the Mexican-American families and Native-Americans are examined throughout this paper.
The Mexican culture has a very rich heritage of both Indian and Spanish ancestry, which have great influence on raising children. Mexico was a patriarchal society under the Spanish legal system. Traditionally children were wards of their fathers. Women only had rights over their children in extreme circumstances such as default of a natural or appointed male relative. The premise of Spanish family law was primarily unchanged until the late 19th century and was not significantly revised until the 1960s (Lavrin, 1991).
Today, in Mexican households in both the United States and Mexico there is still a traditional division of labor by gender. For example, girls help their mothers in the kitchen and boys help their fathers in the yard. In addition to the division of labor by gender, in the Mexican culture adult males are "expected" to be dominant over adult females (Bronstein, 1994).
It is very interesting to know that as in other Latin American countries, the study of parenting in Mexico is extremely limited. In fact, much of what is known comes indirectly from studies of Hispanic families living in the United States (Bronstein, 1994) or is obtained from Mexico City and the surrounding areas.
In Mexican families the mother is the primary caretaker of the children. Typically, Mexican mothers are very affectionate especially to children under 3 years of age (Bronstein, 1994). While there appears to be defined roles for males and females, Mexican mothers did not differ in their treatment of children based on gender (Bronstein, 1994).
Parental authority, children's obedience, and respect for the parents are major values within the Mexican family (Diaz-Guerro, 1975). Both mothers and fathers discipline their children. In fact, discipline in Mexico and in the United States is quite similar. This i
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
Names referenced in this report
Mexican mothers, Coll, Meyer, Harrison, Atwater, Shepardson, Patience, Griffin-Pierce, the family, Mirande, Malach,
Organizations talked about in this paper
Locations referenced in this research paper
a patriarchal society, United States, Navajo, Mexico City,
Health Conditions talked about in this report
Companies included in this term paper
Fox & Solis-Camara, Dehyle & LeCompte,
Keywords mentioned in this term paper
fathers, United States, Mexican, mothers, Mexican culture, Native American, traditional, Mexico, behaviors, child rearing, gender, adults, traditional values, socio economic status, beliefs, Navajo tribe, Coll, gender roles, extended families, extended family, Mexico City, family law, basic, collective behavior, Corporal punishment, Brillon, societies, role model, physical closeness, patriarchal society, Latin American, good idea, legal system, direct relationship, self actualization, Mexican American, emotion, disciplinarian, the mexican, behavioral, parenting, spirituality, cooperative, skills, individual, affectionate, cradleboard, LeCompte, individualistic,