If we take a closer look at the way people in Russia raise their kids, we can't help but question how it's possible that fellow human beings can be so different from one another. We praise our kids a lot, while Russians barely do it. We're thrilled about newborn photoshoots, while they are afraid to take even one photo of their baby before they turn one month. We cook separate meals for our kids, and Russian moms just make the same things for the entire family.
Besides, there are so many principles and old-age traditions parents in Russia follow, but they seem really strange to us. And once again, it makes us think that Russia is the weirdest country in the world. It looks like to understand a Russian person, it's best to live there. But we won't do it - we will just take a look at the most unique ways Russian moms parent their kids!
20 Everything Is About Tradition
Russians love their traditions very much. So while the western world is all about innovation in everything, including the upbringing of kids, they just keep following the good old traditions. Many of them don't even question why they are doing some things in a certain way. They just do it because everyone else has always been doing it, from generation to generation.
19 Kids Are Supposed To Eat The Same Food As Parents
We are used to making something special for our kids for every meal because we think that they should eat different food from what we eat. But in Russia, there is no such thing as separate kids' menu at home. Moms think they are busy enough with their other duties and they just cook the same meal for the whole family. Guess that means kids are less of picky eaters there...
18 How Can One Overdress A Baby?
Everyone has heard about cold Russian winters that make people put on as many kinds of clothes as possible, just to stay warm. So it's no wonder that Russian moms tend to overdress their kids to ensure they don't catch a cold. But, the thing is, they never call it "overdress". It's just a normal way of dressing a child for them.
17 Kids In Russia Have To Be Committed To Their Choices
American parents think that it's okay for a child to look for their calling and try all kinds of classes and hobbies before they finally pick something they like the most. In Russia, kids don't have this kind of freedom. When they choose dancing classes, football, or knitting, they just have to keep on doing it. They have to be responsible for their choice and committed to it.
16 "Who's A Pretty Boy/Girl Here?" - "No One, Why?"
Moms in Russia don't like it when someone compliments their child saying how cute or pretty they are. They think that it will attract the evil eye and something bad will happen to the child. We are not sure how this whole thing works, especially since we're used to complimenting babies a lot and it never occurred to us that it could lead to any bad things. Or are we missing something?
15 There Is No Bedtime In Russia
Although it may seem strange, Russian moms never make their kids go to bed at a certain hour. They just wait for the child to become sleepy and only then (whenever it happens), they take them to the bed. It must be a blessing for the child because they can remain awake for as long as they want, but it's got to be a curse for the parents because, well, the child remains awake for as long as they want...
14 Kids Having Their Own Room Isn't A Must
Having personal space is a must in western cultures. For this reason, we do our best to provide our kids with their own rooms as early as possible. But in Russia, it's not so important. Kids often live in the same room with their siblings, parents, or even grandparents, until they're in their late teens. It's a social norm in Russia.
13 Kids Have To Obey Their Teachers At All Times
Russian parents respect teachers very much and they demand the same kind of respect from their children and tell them that they always have to listen to their teachers. So whatever the teacher does is considered right, while the child's actions and motives are often questioned. As you know, American parents have a contrary point of view on this matter.
12 But Obeying A Doctor Isn't Too Important
In the meantime, doctors don't seem to have earned that much respect from parents. Whatever the doctor says is often questioned and there is a lot of mistrust toward them. So even when it comes to something as simple as treating a cold, the mom will probably check the doc's words over and over again before taking their advice.
11 The Maternity Leave Is Huuuuge
In Russia, a new mom can get as many as three years to take care of her baby. Isn't it awesome to be able to have such huge maternity leave? What's even more awesome is that she can come back to work after this long period and the position will still be hers! It's probably one of the most positive things about becoming a parent in Russia.
10 Before The Baby Is Two Months Old, The Mom Doesn't Show Them To Others
When the baby is born, only close family members are allowed to see them during the first two months. Everyone else has to wait because Russian moms believe that if a stranger sees her baby, they can somehow attract bad luck or the evil eye. If they are talking about infectious diseases, then we can understand. But what else do they mean by this evil eye?
9 Photos Aren't Allowed Before The Little One Is One Month
Infections have nothing to do with this one, apparently. But still, parents in Russia don't allow any photos before the baby is one month old. Once again, they are too afraid of this evil eye that can somehow harm the baby. Bye-bye cute newborn photoshoot ideas and sweet photos hashtagged #mybaby on social media. You just won't work in Russia...
8 It's Okay For Kids To Do Chores
Aren't you too tired of doing all chores by yourself? Moms in Russia get tired too, and that's why they teach their kids to help them from an early age. It's a good idea, we must say. It doesn't only let mom have a bit more free time, but it also teaches responsibility to children. Just show them how to wash the dishes or sweep the floor and let them do it, at least once in a while.
7 Ballet Classes Are Important
For some reason, it's very common for Russian parents to take their children to dancing schools at an early age. On the one hand, we can understand that they do it because ballet teaches so many skills, including the technique itself, as well as responsibility, coordination, and focus. But, on the other hand, it's still about tradition. After all, so many other things give these skills, too!
6 Parents Have To Know Everything About A Child's Personal Life
"Where are you going?" you ask your kid. "Out with friends," the kid answers. "Okay, have fun!" you say and the dialogue is finished. But if you're in Russia, it's only beginning. "What friends?", "Where are you going?", "What will you be doing?", "When are you coming home?" These and many other questions will be asked and, unless the kid answers all of them and the answers satisfy their mom, they aren't going anywhere.
5 Babushkas... Babushkas Are Everywhere...
In Russia, a babushka isn't just a grandmother. It's more like a second mom who is always ready to take care of the child when the parents can't do it. She will also want to teach the child a lot of things and actively participate in their upbringing. Sometimes, grandparents even live with their grown-up children and grandchildren to always be there to help.
4 Even Strangers Will Want To Teach New Moms
Not only the babushka who is the child's grandmother will want to teach them, but an old lady they meet in the street for the first time will, too. And she'll probably want to do it if she sees even the slightest thing the mom did wrong (in her opinion). Although it's often annoying to get advice from a stranger, Russian moms have to put up with it because in their culture babushkas are very respected.
3 Playing Outdoors Is A Must For Kids
This one is also pretty positive. Kids in western countries are so used to sitting around at home all day long, playing video games, and hanging out with their iPad. In Russia, they don't get to do it so often because they're taught that they have to play outside. It certainly makes them healthier, more outgoing, and more active. Isn't it something we should do, too?
2 Dads Aren't Really Involved In Parenting
Russian moms do most of the things around the house and take care of the kids, while dads are the ones who provide for the family. These gender roles are really set there and moms rarely ask their significant other to help them with something. Usually, dads are free to choose how much they want to participate in the child's upbringing and do the things they're ready to do.
1 Russian Moms Think Praise Does More Harm Than Good
We are used to praising our kids very often, for whatever they do. We think that it motivates them and does a lot of good things for them. But moms in Russia have the opposite opinion. They believe that if they praise their child too much, they won't appreciate the praise and won't push further to attain bigger success. So for them, motivation works the other way...
Sources: Baby Gaga, Time, Romper, Russia Beyond, The Talko