The Culture Of Family
Bona|May 2017

Where do you draw the line between traditional and modern parenting practices?

Kerryn Massyn

You want to spend the first few weeks of your child’s life at home, bonding with them. Your mother, on the other hand, insists that you stay with her so she can show you how to be a mom, and give you the time to recover from giving birth. Sounds familiar? Straddling the lines between tradition and contemporary parenting styles is a dilemma that many parents face, especially when South Africa’s rich heritage and diverse cultures come into play.

IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY

When you become a parent, you may find yourself bombarded with well-meaning comments and advice from friends and family. You may even start asking your parents, aunts, doctor, clinic sister, fellow moms and the Internet for answers to your most pressing concerns. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” suddenly makes sense. “I loved hearing my mom and aunts telling me about the traditions they used with me and my cousins,” says Sindisiwe Dube of her Zulu heritage. “It made me feel connected to the past, and I felt like I belonged to a club of motherhood. I also think that recognising your heritage is important.”

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