Monthly archives "August"

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PARENTING STYLES AROUND THE WORLD

We asked thousands of parents across Europe to tell us about their parenting styles as we were interested to find out about how beliefs, methods of discipline and the amount of freedom given to children varies in different countries.

While every parent will have their own unique set of values, it’s interesting to see how nationality plays such an important role in how children are raised. Parents in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands were asked to give us their thoughts, with interesting results.

International Parenting - Infographic

Positive Parenting

While most parents in Europe hold back on praising their children, Irish parents are far more vocal in their appreciation of good behaviour. In fact, our research revealed that 64% frequently reward their children with praise – more than other EU countries.

This contrasts with France, where four in ten avoid dishing out praise. In fact, French parents regularly say ‘no’ to their children to teach them patience.

Rewards

Giving children plenty of hugs and love, praising their accomplishments, and showering them with toys, presents and clothes, were all listed as the most popular ways that parents in Europe reward good behaviour.

Tempers Rising

While a quarter of European parents admit to being quick to lose their temper when faced with naughty behaviour, only 18% of Irish parents agreed. In France, however, nearly a third are quick to lose their cool, making them the most hot-headed in Europe.

Strict Rules

The strictest country is Britain, where over a third of parents are stern on discipline. Educating children on the reason why their behaviour is wrong (42%), taking away toys (36%) and rationalising with them (29%) are the most effective ways to deal with bad behaviour, according to parents in the UK. In fact, these were the most popular methods of discipline for most parents in Europe.

Portuguese parents are less strict compared to their counterparts in countries like Britain, France and the Netherlands. Only 28% take a firm approach, while they are also the least likely to shout at their children. Only 1% of Portuguese parents use this method of discipline, compared to one in ten adults in Italy.

Despite these differences, nearly all countries agreed that respect, being well-behaved and sociable were the most valued attributes for children to have. Most European parents also agreed that having a ‘cheeky’ character, being quiet and having a sensitive personality were considered of less importance compared to other attributes.

Independent Children

While half of parents from France are reluctant to give their children too much freedom, most Italians (66%) believe it is an important part of growing up. They are also the least likely to ‘fuss’ their children as they believe it makes them more resilient. Over 65% of Italian parents take a hands-off approach – 15% more than other EU countries.

This is not the case in Portugal, where only four in 10 parents like to give their children an abundance of freedom. The majority (60 percent) pride themselves on being extremely involved in their children’s lives.

Bedtimes and mealtimes

Italian parents expect good behaviour from their children – particularly during mealtimes. More parents in Italy than in other European countries adhere to strict rules during breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, 54% expect children to eat ‘grown up’ food and demonstrate good table manners.

This is in contrast to Dutch parents, who are particularly relaxed at the dinner table. Less than half said they adhere to strict mealtimes – 10 percent less than their Italian counterparts.

At bedtime, Portuguese parents are most likely to keep to a rigorous bedtime routine – over 60% stick to set bedtimes. This is in stark contrast to Irish parents, where less than half say children need to be in bed by a particular hour.

Treating Children as Equals

Italian parents are least likely to believe children should be treated as equals. While 61% of Europeans say all members of the family share the same rights, less than half of Italian adults agree.

In contrast, French parents are the most likely to treat their children as equals. Over 75% believe treating children as counterparts is a positive parenting technique.

Expert Opinion

We asked parenting expert Bea Marshall for her thoughts on the research:

“The research shows far more similarities than differences. All parents want the best for their child and they will seek to do this to the best of their ability and resources.

There are two types of demands on all parents no matter which country they are from. The first are ‘necessary’ demands which are the same across all cultures – to protect and nurture our young.

The second are ‘desired’ demands which vary according to beliefs and behaviours that we perceive as normal. This is why we see cultural differences in the approaches and attitudes of parents across the research.

Just because our cultures are different doesn’t mean that the ways this affects our parenting is wrong or right.”

We know from experience that parents often share many of the same worries, particularly during the busy ‘back to school’ period. That’s why research like this is important as it allows us all to share ideas and knowledge.

With so many now going online to look for advice, it’s likely that parenting methods from around the world will strongly influence on how children are raised in the future – creating a melting pot of different parenting techniques that everyone can learn from.

Let us know what you think of the research! Tweet @MyNametags or visit our Facebook Page to join the conversation.

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What Does it Mean to be an Accomplished Man?

Last year we conducted research into what makes a modern accomplished woman and whether the nation’s opinion has changed throughout the generations. We found that over 60 percent of the 2,500 women surveyed felt they were accomplished, despite the skill set of a modern woman being vastly different to previous generations. For example, over 28 percent said they did not have time to learn how to sew in name labels, which was previously considered to be an essential skill. Instead, modern women value being financially secure, being happy and having a well-paid job.

Over the years we have seen an increase in the number of men ordering our name labels for their children. This got us thinking about whether the view of what makes a man ‘accomplished’ has also changed throughout the generations. Keen to find out more, we conducted research into the idea of the modern ‘accomplished man’.

 

The Demise of Traditional Skills

Our research revealed that attributes traditionally seen as ‘male’, such as being good at DIY and being the breadwinner of the family, have declined. Over half of the men surveyed admitted to relying on their fathers to assist them with practical tasks, such as putting up shelves or changing a car tyre. The research also revealed that men are less chivalrous and well-groomed when compared to previous generations.

 

The Modern-Day Accomplished Man

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Despite the decline of seemingly ‘male’ attributes the majority of men surveyed felt that they were accomplished, and 69 percent agreed that the definition of an accomplished man has changed since their father’s generation. Instead, attributes such as being a good father, being open about mental health issues, being happy, having great manners and confidence were all revealed as being crucial characteristics in order to be considered an accomplished man in today’s society.

Our research also revealed how men’s attitudes to parenting have changed across the generations, with almost three quarters of dads believing they do things with their children that their own father didn’t do with them. These include, cooking for their children, taking them to school and helping them with their homework. Insights also show that modern dads take a more hands-on approach to parenting, with changing nappies, playing with their children and labelling school uniform all cited as key tasks of the modern father.

 

Qualities That Make Men Less Accomplished

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Whilst our research demonstrated how men’s attitudes towards parenting have transformed, it also revealed the traits most likely to ruin their chances of being seen as accomplished. It seems that some traditional stereotypes do still exist, with not being able to drive, struggling to fix things and showing emotions in public, all being flagged as faux pas. Having a rigorous grooming routine, including waxing eyebrows and wearing fake tan, was also shown to make a man less appealing.

 

Who is Considered Accomplished?

As part of our research we asked 2,000 UK adults who they consider to be the most accomplished man in today’s society. The results were interesting. David Attenborough was voted as the most accomplished, with Barak Obama and Prince Harry following closely behind. The list also included some surprise entries in the form of Philip Schofield, Tyson Fury and Drake. Interestingly though, less than one percent of those surveyed considered Boris Johnson, the UK’s new Prime Minister, as the most accomplished.

 

TOP 10 TRAITS THAT MAKE AN ACCOMPLISHED MAN

  1. Being a good father – 36 percent
  2. Being able to talk openly about feelings – 35 percent
  3. Being happy – 35 percent
  4. Being able to cook – 34 percent
  5. Having great manners – 33 percent
  6. Confidence – 33 percent
  7. Learning from failure – 31 percent
  8. Being good with technology – 31 percent
  9. Having a loving family – 31 percent
  10. Being good at DIY – 31 percent

 

TOP 10 TRAITS THAT MAKE LESS OF AN ACCOMPLISHED MAN

  1. Having no ambition – 21 percent
  2. Being bad with money – 17 percent
  3. Being out of work – 14 percent
  4. Wearing fake tan – 14 percent
  5. Waxing eyebrows – 12 percent
  6. Not being able to fix things – 10 percent
  7. Having no hobbies – 9 percent
  8. Not being able to drive – 9 percent
  9. Having manicures/pedicures – 8 percent
  10. Playing with Barbies/dolls – 8 percent