• Helaine SelinEmail author
Part of the Science Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Science book series (SACH, volume 7)


Parenting is certainly related to culture, but there is a combination of care and love and direction and concern that we imagine all parents have. And yet I find that not all parents believe or practice this. My own friends have different ways of encouraging their children—some even by shaming—and many parents have such high aspirations for their children that neither the children nor they are really satisfied. And we find, on our journey around the world in this book, that there are many ways of parenting, based on culture, character and hopes for the future generation. In many parts of the world, especially in rural areas, the style of parenting practiced is the same as that practiced by many generations before. If people are to live the same kind of lives, the same kinds of parenting still apply. But, as people move to the cities, as women join the labor force, as so-called modern life and mobile phones infiltrate into people’s belief systems, the method of parenting has to change also. There is less reliance on other family members, especially grandparents, and there is a more limited social network for other activities. Children in many cultures are heavily directed into better schools and classes. What I thought was a basic belief—that parents always want more for their children—is perhaps a very Western approach. My immigrant parents were uneducated and wanted their children to be educated, have professions and make a place in the world. (Well, that was not necessarily for me, as girls were still expected, as I grew up in the 1950s, to be mothers first and maybe that’s all they were expected to be). For my own children, I, a hippie mother of the 1970s, wanted them to love one another and everyone else. I thought of my parenting style as “benign neglect”. And they turned out to be high achievers, successful, talented, and sensational. And, of course, loving to their spouses and children and me.


Parenting Style Parenting Practice Corporal Punishment Authoritative Parenting Parental Authority 
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I would like to thank all the authors for their hard and careful work; it was a pleasure to work with you. At Springer, I would like to thank again my now-retired and much appreciated editor, Maja deKeijzer and Christopher Wilby, who took over her responsibilities with great care and sensitivity.


  1. Baumrind, D. (1967). Child care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behavior. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 75(1), 43–88.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Baumrind, D. (1987). A developmental perspective on adolescent risk taking in contemporary America. New Directions for Child Development, 37, 93–125.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hampshire CollegeAmherstUSA

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