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Canadian Parents: 5 Secrets That Might Suprise You (page 2)

Canadian Parents: 5 Secrets That Might Suprise You

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Updated on Oct 30, 2012

Environmental consciousness. When in Canadian cities, it's not uncommon to see entire families heading for a bike ride to the farmer's market or strolling along the waterfront. In urban areas, using public transit is often taught at a young age, with small children tagging along with parents. And when compared to the United States, those values ring true and have an effect: Cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary all rank high on the green index for North American cities. As an added bonus, Canadian kids enjoy a lower rate of obesity than American children—it must be all of that bike riding!

Want to try? Start making small changes in your home to cultivate an appreciation for the Earth. Recycling, planting a garden and walking instead of driving aren't huge lifestyle changes, but they teach a respect for the environment that Canadian children know and love.

Teaching independence. Canadians value personal independence more than their southern neighbors do. While it's hard to generalize, Canucks are more than happy to allow their children to explore learning, hobbies and even religion. "Canadian parents value a democratic conception of education that promotes independence and negotiation," Claes notes in his landmark study. Parents typically urge their children to behave autonomously, learn what they like and develop their own beliefs.

Want to try? Give your kid a little leeway when it comes to making decisions. You can choose the biggies for now, but your child gains independence and confidence from picking his outfits, choosing his snacks and planning activities.

Bottom line? Canadians aren't drastically different than Americans in the way they raise their brood. Still, there are a few key ways that Canadian mamas and papas raise their children that Yankees could learn from and put into practice for calmer, more respectful kids.

Not bad, eh?

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