It has been deliberated in the past whether migrant parents should conform to the culture of the host country or preserve their own cultural identities. This dilemma has been prevalent in educational institutions all over the world. Nevertheless, this dilemma can be resolved by deeply exploring cultural differences, as well as the individual merit, of parenting style and child rearing practices. All parenting styles have inherent strengths and limitations. Hence, the challenge to educators is to take advantage of these strengths and transform these weaknesses into something productive. Compromising migrant parents’ own cultural identities, and integrating them into the mainstream culture, is not the solution to this multiculturalism issue.
A continuing debate in a number of Western cultures nowadays puts emphasis on the importance of multiculturalism against the value of integrating diverse groups and subgroups which strips society of cultural diversity. This debate has been extended to parenting and childcare. It has been argued that parents create their own parenting style rooted in their cultural socialization, aside from personality, individual experiences, family background, and traits of children. But this view is criticized by the other side stating that cultural differences in parenting style and childcare process negatively affect developmental outcomes of children. The perceptions, beliefs, and assumptions of parents about childrearing and childcare influence parental performance and, consequently, affect the development of the child. This paper is an attempt to understand the effect of multiculturalism debate on the perception of parenting and childcare. ...
A number of countries have established multiculturalism rules intended to protect the cultures, especially the cultural norms of immigrant populations, within an integrated social order (Willett, 1998). In this framework, added by Willett (1998), multiculturalism supports a society that gives equitable position to diverse religious and cultural groups. Multiculturalism usually grants legal rights to and protections for the ethnic groups. Culture is not confined to racial or ethnic affinity. Culture is manifested in any population that has a homogenous value system and history that affects how they behave and think (Mitchell, 2004). For the purposes of this paper, it is relevant to differentiate ‘home culture’ and ‘societal culture’ (Shapiro, 2000, 282). The former is comprise of the societal institutions that reflect the belief and value system of a particular population, such as the media, political structures, educational systems, etc. On the other hand, ‘home culture’ is composed of the beliefs and attitudes of the family (Shapiro, 2000). At times, these two types of culture conflict with each other. For instance, the cultural performance of parenting; it can be difficult for parents to preserve their home culture with their children at the same time as assimilating them into the larger society they belong to (Shapiro, 2000). The integration and harmonizing process of the two types of culture can be very difficult for parents who are constantly adjusting to new value and belief systems, and institutions. Cultural standards can generally be classified into ‘interdependence’ or ‘independence’. The culture of the United States generally emphasizes principles of ‘independence’