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Differences in How Polish People Raise a Child and How Americans Raise a Child

7 Jan 2010 #31
I've observed a tendency to hypochondria here in Poland too - the kids seem to be on and off antibiotics regularly, and consequently pick up everything going. And I now assume that every conversation with anyone over 50 is going to start with a blow by blow account of their (lack of) health.

A Polish couple I know back in the UK shocked me when they started giving their newborn (days old) daughter medication for diarrhea, despite being told by a paediatrician that it's perfectly normal for a baby's digestive system to take a bit of time to get going properly. They then insisted on feeding it glucose-laden 'herbatki' which Babcia and friends had to bring over from Poland as it's not sold in the UK - the 2 year old now has advanced tooth decay. It's crazy.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
7 Jan 2010 #32
I've noticed how quick Polish parents here are to take their kids to the doctor for the slightest cough or sneeze;

One thing that drives me crazy is seeing a child outside in twenty degree f weather coughing every two minutes and the parents do nothing, just let them play outside like there's nothing wrong. I wish there were more parents here who would take their kids to the doctor when they cough in winter. Kids sound so miserable with a hacking cough! Why on earth would anyone complain?
ChrisPoland 2 | 123
7 Jan 2010 #33
I also cannot stand those herbatki monsters who insist that I am harming my child because I have never given them herbatka. I even found research done that those dill (koperek) herbatki CAUSE gas not alleviate it, but Babcia knows better. BTW some people give their infants glucose from the pharmacy.

When you have a baby in Poland, a midwife comes for a home visit at least once. The midwife who came for a visit with our second child wrote us a long list of things our 2-week old baby needed including herbatka and medicine for loose stool. Any experienced mother should know that infants have loose stool for some time and that it is normal but if a so-called medical professional advises Polish moms to do it, those moms can be confused. Add that to the pressure coming from Babcia and well, your head can spin.

And about the antibiotics, it depends on the doctor really. Our family dr is quite conservative about prescribing them but when I visit another dr at the practice I am sure to get antibiotics for our kids no matter the illness. At our last visit (for a hacking cough) she declared the kids healthy and acted like I was wasting her valuable time and then prescribed my kids 7 medications one of which was an antibiotic. I politely asked for an explanation and then demanded an explanation when none was given. I was asked to leave the examination room and to take my kids with me. I made an appointment immediately for "our" doctor who told us antibiotics were not needed and with some syrup our kids were fine in a couple of days. Hacking coughs often come at the tail end of colds for smaller kids and while they sound awful are often not serious.
cjj - | 281
7 Jan 2010 #34
I have never given them herbatka

so that makes two of us :)
my poor tykes had to grow up on water for thirst and milk if they were also hungry.

When my son was born here in Gdansk I tried to say sternly in advance that he was not to be whisked off to the nursery for a glucose feed - that whole idea kindof freaked me out. In the end they did it anyway (i was too ill to fight by that stage) but they had to bring him back because he refused to stuck. I was very proud of him at that point :-P especially as he then proved (all bl88dy night) that he could suck if he wanted to.

7 Jan 2010 #35
How interesting I'm not the only one to have observed the herbatka issue! And the differences between the 'official' advice for new Polish and British babies...
krysia 23 | 3,057
7 Jan 2010 #36
Krysia, shocked by your 2 contributions. You're obviously enormously bitter towards your ex husband and men in general. Clearly your divorce was nothing to do with you!

Think what you want, but when I married him I married him for life. As so I thought. I worked hard and have bought him a snowmobile, a boat, a bike, and many other expensive gifts because marriage to me was very important and he was very important in my life. He bought me a dresser once.

I was kind to him, he could go out with his friends drinking, or whatever he did, I never complained and I wanted him to be happy. I wasn't a drinker and I don't go to bars. But when the children were born and it was my turn to be happy, things changed. He wasn't the number "one" anymore. It was hard for me to handle a child, me healing from an emergency c-section and to attend to his needs when I was in pain. I guess it was my fault for spoiling him and when he had to share me with a child he became jealous. I do not like to argue and would just let him yell at me and abuse me as long as the child was safe. When I got involved in a car accident which paralyzed me and left me in the hospital for 2 months, that's when he used this opportunity to serve me divorce papers because he knew I was totally helpless. I have lost my job, my car, my house and he wanted to take my children away, in which he did not succeed.

So go ahead and think what you want. I know what happened.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
7 Jan 2010 #37
Some friends of mine (Polish/German) were bringing up their kids as vegetarian (both the parents are). the local nurse went nuts at them, despite the fact the mother has a degree in food science and knows a bit about nutrition (and believe me, a lack of good food was never a problem in that house!).
Juche 9 | 292
8 Jan 2010 #38
but many moms/grandmas cannot tolerate it when a child skips a meal because they simply are not hungry. It's a big issue between my mother-in-law and I.

also note that in Poland among the old school crowd food is considered punishment and not pleasure, so if you are a kid and hate sour cream, you will be force-fed the sour cream and if you cant keep it down, you will then be force-fed the sour cream along with the vomit that it came up with.
clerynka - | 45
8 Jan 2010 #39
From a British perspective, one thing I notice is that Polish parents seem less likely to use corporal punishment outside the home

Yeah, haha. from what I gather from talking to my Polish friends in Britain, their parents just completely stopped talking to them and/or chucked them out of the family home if they didnt do as they were told.

Either that or as lots of people have said, mothers in particular are a tad over protective. My friend is now 37 and his mother is still treating him as her 'little baby'.

However, I see no problem with this as long as it doesnt have negative effects as an adult. Its good to be babied sometimes ;)
1jola 14 | 1,879
8 Jan 2010 #40
Polish parents frown upon their kids smoking crack at home. Was that the case, or they just refuse to clean their rooms?
clerynka - | 45
8 Jan 2010 #41
Haha, fair enough ;)
Well to be fair to the parents I clearly am only hearing his side of the story, so Im not going to make a judgement on them, or Polish parenting in general. But I have a feeling his parents in particular just didnt like him having any freedom. Which has sort of messed him up a bit now, because he is totally the other way.

As a parent I wouldnt be amused if my child was smoking crack at home, so I would understand them chucking the child out. However, in my friends situation, it sounds like it was just a case of him not being able to choose his friends/whether he went to church/etc etc...

I know how important religion was to his fmaily, but he wasnt allowed the freedom most of his friends had in any other context either. Ultimately they ended up throwing him out :(
1jola 14 | 1,879
8 Jan 2010 #42
Some parents are strict, maybe too strict, but what do kids do after midnight on the streets? Discuss quantum physics?
clerynka - | 45
8 Jan 2010 #43
Thats the problem, parents have no idea, and sometimes its a case of trust, but sometimes parents can be too naive, so it works both ways.

But i have no doubt in my mind that this sort of thing is isolated to poland. This is universal :(
papa dee
8 Jan 2010 #44
I have seen the evolution of this.

hahaha. duh. its all over this forum!

Sorry but for me 50 F is not cold enough for a snow suit.

hahaha. sitting on the beach in sopot early september shorts t-shirt and thinking about a swim... along comes polish mum with kiddie baking in coat, hat, scarf and gloves

some men cannot understand what a mother goes through emotionally and physically

er. some mothers have absolutely no idea what a new dad goes through and are actually so wrapped up in their own ego they think its all about them and the baby. er. get a grip!

when i waa 4 i had to kill the mailman with my bare hands and subsist on his carcass all winter.

yeah? obviously a slow developer. i was selling crack to the local bad boys at 6 months, had a wife and 3 kids by the age of 2 1/2 and claiming my pension at 4. bring it on you nutters!

there's a car accident. Inside is a husband, wife and child.

oh dear oh dear oh dear

children. It's a very emotive topic ... I've seen women nearly come to blows over the various topics.

precisely! and theyre the ones charged with their upbringing!

"Your husband's British, isn't he? Well, he's probably right!"

definitely a lesson to be learnt there for those who are smart enough
rich55 3 | 49
8 Jan 2010 #45
The husband will try to save his wife first, than the child.

It's an easier decision for a woman in that case. What would a husband do?...what should a husband do? What would I do? Wife or child......tough decision. Mind you, if I knew what a b***h my wife would turn into it would be the kid every time ha ha.

p.s she's my ex-wife now; and she was a truly s**t driver. Just for the record......
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
8 Jan 2010 #46
The situation Elmhurst tom described is exactly what goes on at my house.

By all my neighbours and my wifes family I am considered a very bad father. Basically my child fell over the other day and cut his knee. He came crying to me and I put a small plaster on it and gave him a sweet and he was right as rain and continued playing. Thewife got on the phone to her mum and they were cursing me rotten that I didnt do sth more.

Also, I would not allow the child in bed with us after the age of 6 mths nad now when he sleeps over babcias he even requests his own room (when u see the in law, I wouldnt want to be in bed with her either). They curse me and ask me what I have turned this child into and I just tell them 'a healthy, young man', not a snivelling litlle brat like his cousin.

My child got into the habit of biting. His babcia and mum would just tell him to stop it and give huim a hug so biting became associated with the pleasure of a hug. Only onec he bit me and itwas the last time because I bit him back, not too hard but just enough to teach him a lesson. If he starts pullin hair I will do the same too. I am a monster for doing this apparently.

Polish parents are certainly too overprotective. They will use the dotor for the slightest splutter. My wife's sisters' kid has lost most of his toddlerhood cos he was in and out of the doctor for the slightest ail. They paid for a preschool for him and he has been twice cos he always comes back ill. Babaies dont need to be wrapped up in cotton wool, they need to explore the world and all its perils
scrappleton - | 829
8 Jan 2010 #47
(when u see the in law, I wouldnt want to be in bed with her either).

Lol.. yeah then there might be some real crying.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
8 Jan 2010 #48
Its good to be babied sometimes ;)

Some men pay good money for it... errrm, so I've heard.
cjj - | 281
8 Jan 2010 #49
i've watched my own s-i-l give detailed instruction on fbook to her 28 y/old, married daughter :) I thought at the time it was just her character, but now I'm wondering :)

it's wierd though, when I think about it. the lady who used to do summer-holiday care for my daughter ... she lived right next to her sister-in-law, whose lived on the family farm. little pawel was 3 at the time and spent each and every day wandering *unescorted* round the yard. we're not talking western farm here with everything in a shed and probably locked away - this was a huckster of a polish farmyard with mud and chickenshit everywhere, the old combine sitting off to one side, the local road about 300 yds away, and every equipment shed with a broken door.

that i found a little *un*protective.
1jola 14 | 1,879
8 Jan 2010 #50
There was once a Polish mother-in-law who committed suicide. She did not leave a note, but her last words were: "Please, don't shoot." :)
santander 1 | 68
8 Jan 2010 #51
I often times feel the methods used by my wife and in turn me, are simply too much.

If your wife continues with this method of bringing up your child, when he reaches the age of 16, you will have one of the most balanced level headed, confident sensitive and caring human beings on earth, who can independently travel anywhere unaccompanied.

It is these early formative years of totally unadulterated love, that makes a person and makes a person for life.
TheOther 5 | 3,682
8 Jan 2010 #52
If your wife continues with this method of bringing up your child...

... she will end up divorced with an ungrateful brat which will turn her life into a nightmare by the age of 16.
1jola 14 | 1,879
8 Jan 2010 #53
will turn her life into a nightmare by the age of 16.

Hehe. She will go along on first dates with him to make sure he takes on plenty of fluids and everything goes well. She might correct his grammar when he whispers in a girl's ear.
santander 1 | 68
8 Jan 2010 #54
she will end up divorced with an ungrateful brat which will turn her life into a nightmare by the age of 16.

I hav'nt got one of those.

However,at different stages of a childs life modifications, and adaptations have to be made, by everyone in the family to produce a well rounded individual, and yes sacrifices have to be made. You get an ungrateful brat, if he has not been disciplined in an educated manner, has been given rewards for what he was not entitled, and told he has done well when infact he has not.

The early development between 0 and 3 are crucial, for brain development.
1jola 14 | 1,879
8 Jan 2010 #55
However,at different stages of a childs life modifications, and adaptations have to be made,

Modifications will have to be made with ET's wife; she will wear herself out. She seems paranoid ( I mean in a good sense), but new mothers often are. It is better than neglect. Hopefuly, she will learn to relax and get good night's sleep. Doting and caring are not the same thing.
8 Jan 2010 #56
I thought that child should know that in life you don't always get what you want and should know the difference between him/herself and mother. All my Polish friends raise children like this- I have never heard of sleeping with child or kangooroing... It sounds sick to me.

On the other hand Polish mothers are very careful about food and never leave children alone.
TheOther 5 | 3,682
8 Jan 2010 #57
The early development between 0 and 3 are crucial, for brain development

Absolutely. But with too much pampering you will risk your relationship. I've seen 2 marriages going down the drain already because the mother insisted to keep the child in the master bedroom.
santander 1 | 68
8 Jan 2010 #58
I have never heard of sleeping with child or kangooroing... It sounds sick to me.

Sick! It is the most natural instinct in the world. All mammels sleep with their babies. It is nature, it is abnormal to think otherwise.
king polkakamon - | 544
8 Jan 2010 #59
I have czech milenkas who sleep with their children although they are about 3 years old or more.The situation is annoying sometimes.But slavic family members are generally very close(brothers,sisters etc).
cjj - | 281
9 Jan 2010 #60
totally unadulterated love, that makes a person and makes a person for life.

I fully agree with that idea, but not with this particular implementation.

Love, yes - and for always, no matter what they do.
My kids get told that often.
But not such a containment of one person's existence inside another's.

When children learn to walk you should be able to see them walk towards something interesting - even in the opposite direction from their parent. Their 'excursions' get longer as they gain confidence and work out that Mummy will be there when they come back. She will always be there for them when they *need* her. Thing is, the time between those moments of need has to get longer and longer.

Otherwise, think of that first morning in K0. Then, it all comes tumbling down, and little fred is 5 or 6 years, not 13 months.

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