Thursday, December 1st 2022

Is Parenting Different in Mexico

Written by

Rafael Bracho

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Is Parenting Different in Mexico?

If you have children, they’re the most important factor in making the decision whether or not to live abroad—and where. Many have grown disillusioned with life in their home countries, and are ready to make a change. Therefore, Expat Insurance decided to write this article to ask you all—the readers—whether or not parenting is different in Mexico.

These were your answers.

*Note: If you want to join in the discussion, click here.


Is Parenting Different in Mexico?

“Overwhelmingly, the majority of your answers revolved around manners. A vast majority believed that children in Mexico were more respectful of their parents and better behaved in public spaces than their American counterparts.”

One woman wrote:

“Yes, the comparison when I go to the states to visit family. . . My child has manners, values. He is well ahead of all his peers in the US and I don’t think I’ve had to deal with any tantrums. He is loving getting to know his roots here.”

A man wrote:

“Well, I think it’s about teaching them not just respect but general family values. In the USA it’s common for families to maybe see each other once a year when they grow up and I think if you teach your children that family is forever, and not in a sense of once a year, then they’ll also feel more connected to you during the years that they actually live with you.”

Another woman wrote:

“Honestly, [Mexican] kids are so much more respectful of their parents. I’m so jealous. My older kids have nothing for me. It’s the ‘gringo way’—cold and callous?”

Another Man Wrote

“I almost hate to share this but. . . only twice in almost 5 years that I’ve been living in Mexico have I observed a child having a meltdown—and both times the mother spoke to the child in native English. When I lived in the States, temper tantrums were commonplace, and children were only sometimes the people throwing the tantrums.”

Close-Knit Family

Is Parenting Different in Mexico?

Another popular response was that the change in the family dynamic affects parenting. Most seemed to think the cultural differences in Mexico affected children in a positive way. Many argued that the close-knit nature of Mexican families was the main factor.

One woman wrote:

“Parenting here compared to the states—children are accepted here. They are not an inconvenience to society. Where we live there are sooo (sic) many free classes for children. Life is slower here so parents are less stressed out. I am able to be relaxed as I’m not stressed about how I will pay the bills and I’m able to just be with my son.”

Two Different Comments Said:

“Family is everything in Mexico,” and “In Mexico, family is EVERYTHING.”

Another man wrote:

“Parents care [in Mexico] and don’t let the iPad babysit.”

Children Have Freedom in Mexico

Is Parenting Different in Mexico?

Several comments revolved around children having more autonomy in Mexico. In some senses, parenting seems to be more relaxed than in many expats’ home countries. Though not all expats were happy with this freedom.

One woman wrote:

“Kids in Mexico aren’t bubble wrapped. They get to be kids.”

But another woman wrote:

“In [Mexico], it’s totally out of control. No offense to any parents, but they let them run through the restaurant bothering people at the beach. It seems like, although they’re very family-oriented, they let the kids get away with murder.”

One man wrote:

“Yeah, parents in Mexico let their kids have too much candy and run around the streets with no shoes.”

Another woman wrote:

“In the small village where I live, it seems that children are not disciplined. It is just a different way of thinking about parenting. The parents of kids who get in trouble say they will naturally be better when they reach 21. They usually do.”

Protective of Girls

Is Parenting Different in Mexico?

Many expats commented that parents in Mexico are more protective of their daughters than their American counterparts. Some even thought Mexican parents went too far, while others thought it understandable.

One woman wrote:

“Parents are more overprotective—especially of girls—and care a lot about their kids being well-dressed and well-behaved.”

And another man wrote:

“When you go to the mall in Mexico, there are no groups of unsupervised teens roaming the mall. Teens at the mall in Mexico are there with their family members.”

Older Children Help Out More

Is Parenting Different in Mexico?

Many expats noticed that teenagers were a lot more helpful in Mexico than they are in the United States in particular. Older siblings were much more likely to babysit and help out with chores than their American teenage counterparts.

One woman wrote:

“Older siblings help out a LOT here.”

Another woman wrote:

“Young adults are much more polite and helpful in [Mexico].”

The Use of Corporal Punishment

Is Parenting Different in Mexico?

Lastly, many expats commented on the use of the dreaded and infamous “chancla” (Mexican slang for “sandal”). The use of the chancla refers to mothers whipping their children’s bottoms with their sandals.

These comments were overwhelmingly a joke. However, we should express that at Expat Insurance, we are in the health industry. Therefore, we do not condone the use of corporal punishment in parenting.

One man wrote:

“One key difference would probably be the use of the chancla!

Both men and women just wrote the word “chancla” by itself as their only comment. And another man even wrote “Flying chanclas.”

One man even wrote:

“Some things that I love about the chancla are the magical powers to solve rants, inappropriate demands, and attention disorders.”


Is Parenting Different in Mexico?

Very few people commented that parenting was the same around the world. The vast majority of expats believe there are many differences between parenting in Mexico and in their home countries. Most expats thought the differences in Mexican parenting were better. However, a few expats didn’t agree. What do you think?

*Let us know your thoughts. To join in our Facebook discussion, click here.

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