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Different Mom’s from around the World

Date : 06 May 2016

How moms differ, but always remain just as special as ever.

Mother’s Day may have come and gone, but we want to keep honoring moms this month. There’s no doubt that mothers are very special beings and deserve a day like Mother’s Day solely dedicated to them.

This month, we decided to show you how moms differ around the world in different countries and cultures. No matter what their parenting approach is, mother’s always have the best intention and think of the well-being of the child. We decided to include this on our Positively South African website for you, as we are including South African mothers and even a couple of cultures in our country and continent.

Take a look at how mother’s parenting techniques differ around the world.


Japanese mothers tend to create an interdependent relationship with their children. This begins when the children are still babies and the moms’ main goal is to prevent the baby from crying before it happens, which leads to them anticipating their interaction with their babies – and the babies learn to react accordingly.

When children are a bit older, the Japanese mother will learn to let go of this interdependent relationship so that the small children can walk to school or go to the grocery store without an adult.


In general, French mothers tend to use the "hands-off approach” to parenting, which brings the child up to be more independent at an earlier age. Although they are still loving and nurturing, they tend to portray a degree of detachment to ensure that the child does not become too dependent on the mom in the future as he or she gets older. Many French moms tend to be strict in order to teach their children to have respect.

The Netherlands

Quite the opposite from the French moms, we have the Dutch moms. Dutch moms (and dads) focus on not putting too much pressure on their children. They believe in creating a pleasant environment for them where they indulge in tons of free play. Plenty of rest (as required by the child) and good food are priorities. Their approach is more hands-on so as to create a positive and happy child who grows up with plenty of praise for even the smallest of accomplishments.

African countries and cultures

It goes without saying that Africa has some of the most diverse cultures and traditions on the planet. When it comes to different ways in which moms bring up their children, we decided to focus on Kenya and South Africa (including 2 South African cultures).


In Kenya, the mothers will cocoon the baby up in a blanket when leaving the house so that the baby can remain peaceful and away from the outside stresses of the community. Even though the mothers carry the babies everywhere, they do not respond to the baby’s cries as this means they are succumbing to the baby’s every demand. Another interesting technique mothers use is to not make eye contact with their new-born baby as this is a form of authority (which they do not want the baby to have). The children of Kenya grow up knowing that their individual desires are not considered as important as the family’s desires as a whole.

South Africa

Due to the struggles that South Africa overcame and the fact that previously disadvantaged groups of people now have more opportunities, South African parents are very involved in their children’s lives. Previously disadvantaged mothers will mostly aim to raise their children to become successful, as they weren’t afforded those opportunities in their youth days. Education, for example, is very important and the mom (and dad) is usually very involved in their children’s education.

South Africa is also home to many working moms. In many cases, due to the close bonds between South African families, the child will be looked after by the grandparents when the mom has to return to work.

Two ancient cultures in South Africa are the Khoi San people; and the Zulu people. Both these rich cultures are full of traditions – some of which are still practiced today.

The Khoi San

The San people are still to this day extremely traditional. The mothers will nurse their child until she or he is about 3 – 5 years old; and they also generally are in charge of raising their children. The children are mostly raised to learn subsistence skills from the mom or both parents.

One of the most remarkable characteristics of the San is their love for one another, so the children will hardly ever go through life being unloved. The mothers in the San house are very highly respected and they make family decisions.

The Zulu

In the Zulu culture, the mom is in charge of raising the children and she teaches them to have respect for people older than them and to not speak unless spoken to. The Zulu mothers run the household and are subservient to their husbands; but have great authority over their children. As the children get older, the mom will teach the daughter to do household chores and raise her to be the perfect housewife in the future. Boys will be taught the military way of life.

As you can see, there are plenty of different types of mothers all over the world – and we only covered 7! Moms all over Europe take on different approaches to raising their children; while South African mothers tend to draw from past experiences. South Africa’s rich and varied cultures show a host of other types of mothering traditions and techniques that are used – each one different from the other. With a culture so rich, it’s no wonder why we are so Positively South African! Can you think of any other different moms from around the world? We would love to hear from you, so let us know on ourFacebook page!