Out of the following moms in America, native-born white moms, immigrant Chinese moms, and Mexican immigrant moms, guess who is the most nurturing? Mexican moms are! A study compared the parenting styles of all three groups and it looks like the Mexican immigrant moms came out on top.
It turns out that Mexican moms provided a "more warm and supportive home setting," argue less with their spouses, and show stronger mental health than white, native-born Americans and Chinese-Americans. So does that make them better moms?
I guess it depends on what you think matters most in mothering. Unfortunately, Mexican moms read to their kids less. Uh oh, no tiger moms here, apparently. But despite that, I think helping your child feel loved and secure is the most important thing a parent can do.
Well, I would. I'm the daughter of a Mexican mom. Actually, she's half Mexican, half Puerto Rican, and she was born in the US (her mother was born in Mexico). But I do think we were raised in a very warm and supportive home setting. Except when we were getting spanked! My mom played both sides in our family. She was strict and could lose her temper. But she was also loving, encouraging, always into what we were doing. We really got the sense that we mattered to her.
Ideally we all borrow from each other -- and I guess that's what immigrant families do after a generation or two. Hopefully we're keeping what makes Mexican children (and families) strong and adding what can also make them smart and well-prepared for competitive American life.
Are you surprised that Mexican immigrant moms are more nurturing than white American moms?
Image via Adriana Velez