Interview Reflection: Culture Differences in Child Rearing

Family Interview

Shantirah Burgess

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I interviewed Soraya Camille for my Family interview, she has a son who is three years old. Soraya was born in Haiti and was raised in the United States from age 12. Now that Soraya has been living in the United States for the last twenty years her view, beliefs and traditions on parenting has changed. There are still some cultural traditions which she enforces with her son.

I asked Soraya, Can you describe your child to me? What is he like?” Soraya says her child is a three year old energetic boy, attentive, affectionate and small child. He can be very stubborn, loud, talkative, and as an only child he can be very selfish. I asked her how does he communicates with you. “How does he let you know if something is wrong? Soraya says her son communicates verbally by talking, screaming and yelling. Her son uses body language a lot, he will point and his facial expression constantly changes. When something is wrong he tells me. At times he will say, “Mommy look” or “That boy or that girl hit me” and point. Effective communication between parents and children is extremely important. Speaking, listening, reflection of feeling, and interpretation have effective communication trust must be built between the parent and their child I asked Soraya, “How do you view you and your partner’s in rearing your child?” Soraya believe it is crucial that you instill certain morals and values in a child in order to raise a well-rounded man. Soraya has developed an enrichment program for her son. On a daily basis they work on a fun but educational projects. Soraya says her husband is a strong believer in raising a son to be a man but his view are slightly different from hers. He believes it’s important to correct a child but they should learn from their mistakes. As a mom Soraya feel she should let her son just learn from mistake but she should correct and discipline her son when he does something inappropriate.

Understanding the culture differences and how parent socialize with their children give better insight to how a family functions. There are several types of parenting styles and some style is more effective than others. Soraya seem like more of a mixture of the authoritative and authoritarian parent. An authoritarian parent who puts their foot down and the child knows not to ask questions. An authoritative parents allows the child to analyze and recognize the issues confronting them. Soraya husband seem to be more of s authoritative parent. I asked, “How do you view your family’s involvement in rearing your child?” Soraya says her family is involved in her son’s day to day care. Her family cooks, feeds and aids him throughout the day. Besides herself and her husband son attends her Aunt’s daycare, when his day care is closed. When Soraya has school or needs someone to watch her son his cousins will watch him. From a financial view her mom, dad, and sister always gives money. Soraya says her entire family is active and involved in her son’s life. I asked her “What is the role of the school/center/church in rearing your child?” The school, center, and church job is to raise the child along with the family. Their responsibilities is to teach the child right from wrong and equip will tools that will lead him to success. I asked her “What, in your eyes, are the most important things you want your child’s teacher to know about your child?” Soraya says she would want the teacher to know that her son is a very quick learner, energetic, and he likes to be the class clown. I would let her know her stubborn and is always looking for something to do. My son is a leader most times he will start doing something silly and he expects everyone else to follow after him. I asked her “What kinds of customs/values/habits does your culture see as important for children to have?” Soraya mentioned how Haitian believe children are gifts from God. Haitian parents teach their young to protect the family structure and privacy, as well as unconditional respect for all their elders. At the same time, children are expected to care for their parents and elders when they can no longer take care of themselves, both physically and financially. I asked her “What are your culture’s beliefs and expectations for boys versus girls? Soraya said most Haitian parents don’t favor sons over daughters but the whole the men to a greater expectation. Boys need to grow up to be strong and independent. They should learn how to cook, survive, work hard and never give up. Boy are encouraged to get girlfriends. They should learn how to be a provider so that they can take care of their own family one day. Girls must learn how to cook, clean, read and write. Education is important but family is also important. A girl cannot move out of the house until she is married and leaves to live with her husband. No matter how emotional or physical abusive her marriage may be she cannot live. If a girl moves out of her family house without being married she will be disowned. A girl cannot spend the night at her friend’s house. The only way she can only spend the night with family relatives.

I asked her “Who, besides you, has some responsibility for rearing your child?” In Soraya’s culture everyone raises the child. All of her family members are able to discipline her child. Respect is an important attribute in her culture. Her child is to respect all of his elders and listen to their direction. .Bronfenbrenner’s Theory explains different variations of child development. The child’s development is related to experiences in the entire environment. Such include parents, friend, society, and culture. The Macrosystem is the system that involves the culture of the individual. This includes their behavior patterns, traditions, and beliefs. It is also known as the larger sociocultural context. The Microsystem is the system with the most direct interaction. This section includes the individual and his or her family, friends, neighborhood, and school. The individual actually takes a role in whatever is occurring. The Macrosystem is the system that involves the culture of the individual. This includes their behavior patterns, traditions, and beliefs. It is also known as the larger sociocultural context. The Chronosystem is the system that deals with time, like chronology. In this system, the environment and progression of events throughout a person’s life affect them as they transition. I asked “In which ways is your child like you and how is he/she different from you?”

Soraya says her son is very energetic, easily motivated, and stubborn like herself. Soraya mentioned her son being an only child can be why he is more affectionate than she is. Soraya says how she is not s affectionate as her son is. I asked, “How important is the role of a father?” Soraya says the father role is extremely important to a child’s development every kid needs their father in their life to provide a balance to cover all areas of a child’s developmentThe Exosystem is the system in which individuals do not play a direct part in the situation. They will, however, have major decisions made by others that will affect their life. If a father is not present in a child life there like is affected. I asked “Is the father of your child actively involved in his school[SB1]?” Soraya mentioned how her son’s father is very active in his school life. Parents are their children first educators. Parents benefit from increased interaction with children at home and more positive feelings about their ability to help. It is important that the father be there, accept their children, use positive parenting and see fathering as worthwhile. I asked, “What are your family strengths?” Soraya mention how her family strengths include accountability, they stick together, helpful, strong remodels and supportive. Strong families are essential because they help create a nurturing society, transforming the society by actively participating in different systems that in turn help them have a healthy successful life. Strong family face difficulties that test their well-being such as parent working multiple jobs to ensure the basic need of the child are met.

Questions:

Can you describe your child to me? What is/are they/he/she like?
How does he communicate with you?
How does he let you know if something is wrong?
How do you view you and your partner’s role (if there is a partner) in rearing your child (ren)?
How do you view your family’s role in rearing your child (ren)?
What is the role of the school/center/church in rearing your child (ren)?
What, in your eyes, are the most important things you want your child’s teacher to know about your child?
What kinds of customs/values/habits does your culture see as important for children to have?
What are your culture’s beliefs and expectations for boys versus girls?
Are they similar or different from your own? How are they similar/different?
How are your own and your partner’s views about rearing children similar or different?
Who, besides you, has some responsibility for rearing your child (ren)?
In which ways is your child like you and how is he/she different from you?
How important is the role of a father?”
“Is the father of your child actively involved in his school[SB2]?”
What are your family strengths?”
What is you view on family involvement in schools?
References

Camille, S. (14, 2 28). Family Interview. (S. Burgess, Interviewer)

Berger, H. E. (2012). Parents as partners in education: families and schools working together. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson.

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