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ERIC Number: ED363684
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
You Must Not Spank Your Children in America: Hmong Parenting Values, Corporal Punishment, and Early Childhood Intervention Programs.
Hughes, Mary Kay
Conflicts between traditional Hmong values and traditional American parenting values are explored, drawing on the experiences of a coordinator of an Even Start program serving Hmong parents. Even Start is a state-funded early childhood intervention program with a literacy component for parents with less than an eighth grade proficiency in reading or mathematics. The goals and rationale of the program reflected an ethnocentric and patronizing attitude toward minority culture parents. Corporal punishment has been a traditional part of Hmong child rearing practice, but is generally frowned on in the United States. Some Hmong parents have reported being told that it is against the law to spank children in the United States. While Hmong parents are generally aware that corporal punishment can get them into trouble, this does not solve their problems in how to discipline children caught between two cultures. Early childhood intervention programs like Even Start put pressure on parents to conform to American middle class values, and in so doing, they tend to label the traditional Hmong values as inferior. It is argued that it should not be the job of early intervention programs to pressure parents to modify their parenting behavior and attitudes. Programs such as Even Start should offer English-as-a-Second-Language and basic skills instruction and must become culturally sensitive, particularly in view of the documented problems of the American family itself. Program personnel should educate themselves about the Hmong and other minority cultures' concepts of parenthood and the family. (Contains 7 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A