These Countries Have Shockingly Different Parenting Methods Than The US

Monica Gray - August 14, 2023
Smart Parenting


In Vietnam, an unconventional parenting method prevails, eschewing the need for diapers. Parents keenly observe their infants for signs of needing the toilet, such as crying, body cues, and facial expressions. Employing positive reinforcement, mothers use whistling to signal successful bathroom use, fostering a connection in the baby’s mind. Over time, this approach leads to early potty training, with babies often achieving independent toileting by around nine months of age. This contrasts sharply with the American norm, where diaper usage typically continues until children reach the age of three.

The Vietnamese approach not only reflects a pragmatic strategy for early toilet training but also underscores a cultural emphasis on close parental observation and engagement with the child’s needs. This practice stands as a distinct example of how diverse parenting methods can shape childhood experiences across different societies. (Science Daily).

Plovdiv, Bulgaria – November 26, 2021: Young wine parade in the Old Town, traditional folklore dances


In Bulgaria, a robust system of support for new parents is in place, granting mothers a remarkable 410 days of maternity leave. This extended leave is complemented by substantial financial assistance, with mothers receiving 90% of their regular pay both before and after childbirth. After the initial six months, this leave can be transferred to the child’s father. The caregiving landscape is further enriched by the active involvement of grandparents, who play a significant role in raising the child. Shared responsibilities are a hallmark of Bulgarian parenting, as duties are distributed among all family members.

Bulgarian parents prioritize their children’s well-being, ensuring they eat before engaging in play, often offering dishes like bread and lutenitsa. Cultural traditions also shape the parenting journey, as it is considered a rite of passage for a father to invite his child to dip a finger into his glass of rakia, a strong liquor. However, it’s important to note that discipline methods can vary, and while some Bulgarian parents might resort to spanking to impart lessons, this approach may not be universal and may evolve over time. Overall, the Bulgarian parenting experience is characterized by familial support, cultural rituals, and a commitment to children’s upbringing. (The Culture Trip).



In the compact nation of Liechtenstein, the approach to raising children diverges from the conventional schooling path. Children can delay formal education until the age of seven, granting them ample time for outdoor play and exploration. Despite this, Liechtenstein maintains an impressive 100% literacy rate among its children, demonstrating the effectiveness of this unique educational approach. Moreover, the country offers an abundance of convenient hiking trails suitable for families with prams, providing opportunities for outdoor adventures.

The charming trails often feature enchanting carvings that captivate children’s imaginations, contributing to their sense of wonder and exploration. This distinctive upbringing encourages a balance between formal education and outdoor engagement, fostering both a love for learning and a connection with nature. In Liechtenstein, child-rearing intertwines unconventional educational practices with the beauty of the outdoors, shaping a truly distinct childhood experience. (Lonely Planet).

Stephanie Yoder


In Italy, you learn how to work with hammers and saws at a very young age. It doesn’t matter if you barely know how to tie your shoes, if you’re at a Reggio school, you’re going to know how to use a hammer. Schools near the Reggio Emilia region of Italy encourage their kids to pursue creativity through woodworking. Children will develop their problem-solving skills by building small pieces of wood art. Italians are also fully invested in family and cultural life. Italians are naturally generous and love feeding their friends and family, which is why they have such a large network of connections around them at all times.

Late at night, you’ll see families of all ages strolling around town and walking through the city. Stephanie Yoder, who moved to Italy from the USA, said, “Being able to send Marcella to daycare half the day has been one of the greatest blessings of this move. She loves it, she’s learning Italian, her social skills are improving, and Mike and I have a chance to get work done without constantly handing her off to each other.” Daycare is a lot more affordable in Italy, which makes raising a child much easier. The cost of Italian universities is very low, especially when compared to their American counterparts. To top it all off, Italy offers wonderful healthcare (Content O Italiano).

World Bank


Moroccan families are tight-knit and often spend a lot of time together. Extended family members are involved, and a lot of the time, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings will get involved in raising the kids. Respect plays a big part in the Moroccan lifestyle, and respecting elders is important. Children also emphasize family matters over individualism, and prioritizing the needs of the family is more important than prioritizing their own needs.

If their family raises their children in Islam, then many Islamic, religious practices are put into place, like praying and fasting, especially during the month of Ramadan. Children are often celebrated in Morocco, and there’s something very unifying in tradition. Even though parents in Morocco can be tough on their children in some aspects, it works out (Smart Homeschooler).



You don’t have to worry about after-school sports or classes in Spain. It doesn’t go hand in hand with raising children in Spain. Because playfulness and exploration are important pieces of Spanish parenting, parents encourage children in Spain to run around outside. Children will often run around outside, in town, unsupervised.

Compare this to the hyper-vigilant and structured parenting styles of American families, who drive their children to and from school and always keep an eye on their whereabouts. And not only that, but Spain has fantastic weather year-round, so your child can spend time outside for most of the year. Parents include their children in everything they do, and family get-togethers happen more often than not. Children also receive free healthcare and dental care, which is another perk (Micasamo).