Top 10 parenting differences between the UK and the US

2020-04-07 11:32:16
Top 10 parenting differences between the UK and the US
Even though both countries are the epitome of Western culture, bringing up a child in America and the UK can mean two very different things. To show you just how different these countries are in terms of child rearing, we’ve devised a list that details the differences between these household. Here are some examples

Top 10 Differences Between Parenting in Britain versus Parenting in America


1) Cursing

In many American households, using the foul language of any sort as a child is a good way to get in big trouble. (Or, at the very least, have your mouth cleaned out with soap.)


In the UK, it's less of a big deal — according to BBC America, swearing isn't as much of a taboo as it is in the states, so if a kid lets a bad word slip, it's not exactly the end of the world.


2) Birthday Parties

In Britain, you won't see children open their presents during the party, as is customary in the states. birthday parties in the UK are generally held in rental halls, so the families wait until after the party to open gifts. 


Don’t serve the cake with ice cream at the party too (put it in their party bags, wrapped up in a napkin - and don’t give out party ‘favours’, they must be in a ‘party bag’!). 


3) Names

Names like Hugo, Jemima, Angus and Esme are posh names and they are completely acceptable and desirable names for your baby in Britain. The American equivalent would be something like Banks, Blane, Bitsy, Swayne and DeeDee. Don’t call another child “buddy” or “bud” because they will think that you think their name is actually “Buddy” or “Bud”.


4) Childproofing

Many people in Britain express the opinion that kids should be allowed to fall and hurt themselves because it’s a learning experience. In America, childproofing is a profession—you can hire someone to come childproof your home. 


Most English parents in Britain will probably just have was a baby gate at the stairs, a pad on one sharp corner, and outlet covers. Childproofing certainly exists in Britain, but it is less extreme than it is in the US.


5) Spanking

Even though it's frowned upon by many in the US, spanking is seen even less favourably in the UK, according to Expats blog. 


British mothers and fathers are horrified by the thought of a spank or a "smack" on the hand, much as they are of capital punishment i.e. the death penalty.


6) Bragging

In the United States, people love to brag about their children’s accomplishments — their grades, their athletic wins, their piano recital applause. In the UK, this, in standard stiff-upper-lip fashion, is frowned upon. 


Parents are more likely to deflect compliments about their children and more likely to poke fun at them in public. The intention is to let the children learn the lesson of how to get along with people in society, which is never to brag

For an instant, In America, you might hear a parent say, “My son is learning the violin and seems to have a natural gift.” In England, you’d hear, “We’re enduring little Tommy’s efforts of learning the violin.” 


7) Sex Education

Starting at age 13, kids in the United Kingdom can sign up for a program through the NHS, called the "C-card" program, in which they receive free condoms. This means that the talk about the birds and the bees comes much sooner than it might in the US, but this approach seems to be working — according to The Guardian, the United Kingdom has halved its teen pregnancy rate over the past two decades.


8) Drinking

People in England do drink a lot more, in general, than people in America do. In the U.S., five or more drinks in one sitting are considered a binge, while in the UK, a binge is more like an eight-drink minimum. At the beginning of the school year, the moms of the school are invited to "mum's drinks" at a pub, according to Babble. This way you can get to know people with children a similar age to yours and maybe even meet some new friends.


9) Language

Children tend to take on the accent of their peers as soon as they become immersed in school. So it should come as no surprise that parent language has some disparities as well.


Should you find yourself raising a child in the United Kingdom, you might find yourself using words like "posset" (spit-up), dummies (pacifiers), and, of course, "knackered," which means that one is tired.


10) Baby Shower

In the US, baby showers are a standard rite of passage for expecting mothers. But in the UK, this isn't exactly the case, since many people view them as tempting fate and being a harbinger of bad luck. Still, this doesn't mean that baby showers are impossible to find across the pond — according to some British parenting blogs, baby showers are gradually growing in popularity.

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