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English Programs for Internationals


Children’s Behavior


US individualism shows in attitudes toward children. In many societies, it is important to have many children. In the US, most people think one or two children are enough, and many couples have no children.


Parents teach individualism by the way they raise their children. They want to create a self-reliant, independent child, who can make it on her own by age eighteen. Parents begin teaching this self-reliance early, asking the child to do things on her own and praising her when she does. Children in the USA are more talkative and assertive than children of other cultures. If they seem rude, it is because they have been taught to be assertive.


Parents want their children to be healthy and happy, and to have a better life than the parents. Many parents want to expose their children to a variety of situations. However, many places, such as expensive restaurants and live theater productions, do not expect children to come with their parents. Most formal social gatherings, those with written invitations do not expect children to come either. If you are going to such a place, you should leave your children at home with a friend or babysitter unless the invitation says “family friendly.”


Children, especially boys are expected to be energetic and assertive. That does not mean, though, that they are allowed to do anything they desire to do in public. Parents are expected to keep their children under control at all times, particularly in public places and in the homes of others. When a child misbehaves, only the child's parents may discipline him. Other adults should not interfere unless the child is doing something which may be harmful to himself. Any punishment that wounds the child or leaves a mark is considered child abuse and is against the law.


*This information was found at