Boys in other cultures


Illness reigns in this household so I will simply leave you with these ponderings.

I think I’m getting the feel for the perspective of childhood psychologists I tend to agree with when it comes to analyzing what boys in our culture go through and what to expect at different stages. But I ask myself how much of this is only specific to North America?  And can I broaden my own view, expectations, and experience by learning about what other cultures experience?

When I was expecting my son I read a book called Raising our babies; Raising ourselves, by Meredith Small. It was a wonderful eye-opener documenting different cultural perspectives related to sleeping patterns and arrangements, infant carrying, feeding, and other such essential  new parental how-to’s.

I realized that so many of the things we think are expected of us as parents and what we expect of our children are not universal truths but culturally specific habits and biases that we don’t have to be restricted by.

So that’s what I’m looking for with respect to older children – and boys specifically. Books and people to tell me about other cultures and how they experience their boys.

That’s all I can write for now, but if you have any suggestions or comments, please send them along.

This entry was posted in Child-rearing, Ethnocentric, Sons, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Boys in other cultures

  1. Anika says:

    When I first spent time in Asia, I remember being surprised that boys aged 8 or 10 or 12 would go aroung arm in arm with their male friends, but why not? I also noticed kids this age holding hands with their parents and grandparents as they walked down the street– not always, and not for safety, as might be the case for younger children, but rather as a sign of affection for each other. Why is this ‘weird’ for boys in our society? And, as I began to make friends and go on trips outside of my own small town, I noticed that men had absolutely no issue sharing a bed with one (or more) of their male friends when traveling or staying at a friend’s house. This was the norm. Here, in North America, there seems to be an awkwardness and discomfort around this; men would rather lie on the cold floor than share a double bed. Where does this come from? (Interested to hear the comments of others…)

    • Edgymama says:

      Thanks for your comments Anika. That’s exactly what I don’t understand. I discovered and reveled in the same show of innocent affection when we were in Cuba a few years ago. Not only were boys and men to be seen walking arm in arm, but also teenaged boys and their mothers and grandmothers – again – for the affection and companionship of it.

      I think we do ourselves a great disservice denying our boys this expression. Not only does it make their lives less rich and secure, but there has to be a cost to society in general when we hold back our affection to our loved ones.

  2. Belinda says:

    I’ll never forget being in I believe it was Marakesh, Morroco, and watching two male traffic police at the centre of a huge crossroads, directing traffic while simulatneously, standing arm in arm, chatting and playing with each other’s fingers….

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