We are in Germany and Switzerland this week, and continue to find that, wherever we go and whatever economic or political or cultural differences people have, when it comes to what we hope for and what we fear for or children, we are all essentially the same!
We spoke the other night to a large group of very powerful investment bankers and financial managers and the concerns they have about their families are different in some details but similar in their essence to the hopes and the worries of the much poorer parents we have spoken to in Latin America and to the more middle of the road parents we just addressed last week in the U.S.
Parenting, and the feelings parents have for and about their children may be the most uniting thing in this divided and fragmented world of ours.
The kind of unconditional, self-sacrificing love that parents everywhere feel for their children is truly inspiring. And the sorts of fears or worries we feel with regard to our children are felt by all parents.
We have spoken and presented to parents in more than 50 countries, and we love this feeling of commonality and universality even though the parents we are speaking to may look different from us and live in different circumstances. We always learn as much as we teach.
For example, speaking generally, European parents do a much better job that we do on teaching politeness, courtesy and respect to their children. Most parents in most parts of Asia are better at emphasizing the positive and ignoring the negative behavior of their kids. Latin American parents usually have stronger social structure and stronger family traditions and narratives than we do, and their extended family unity and interplay is stronger than in most U.S. families.
Despite these varying strengths and points of emphasis, we find that most parents, irrespective of where they are and what circumstances they live in, want to teach joy and values to their children, and that is why Joy School and the Alexander’s Amazing Adventures are popular around the world.
Thanks for being part of ValuesParenting, and take a certain amount of joy and comfort in the fact that the things you have in common with every other parent in the world are more important than your differences!
Love from our house to yours,
Linda and Richard