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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Italian parenting at its finest!!!

*please note the DRIPPING sarcasm that goes along with the title of this blog post!!!*

So Italians are quite funny with their kids. Its not uncommon to see kids at the grocery store get a cuff to the head, a spanking in public or any sort of discipline that would be quite frowned upon in North America. If your kid is throwing a fit here, you're expected to discipline them, and when you do everyone gives you kindly smiles and tells you she's "Bella" (yes I'm now talking about my own beautiful little monster!!!)
BUT....no one would fault you for hand smacking, spanking or cuffing your child here, and to be fair, the kids seem to be better behaved here in public than at home!!! I'm starting to find I'm not as opposed to these things as I thought!
Reese gets her hand smacked if she does something truly naughty or dangerous, and soon she'll probably get her bum tapped too if she continues trying to pull her hand from mine to run into the road in the village!!
SO, while I agree with the Italian way of disciplining the kids, I can NOT get on board with their "God Complex" when it comes to kids and driving.
On the way back from the zoo yesterday, this very nice black SUV passes us quite quickly in the fast lane, with a nicely dressed, well groomed lady sitting in the passenger seat, and a nice, clean, respectable looking man sitting in the drivers seat. They were probably going about 130 km an hour and we were on the autostrada, and it was raining. Now on the autostrada speeds range from 80km/hr to about 180 km/hr when the Ferraris fly past you!!!

What was really out of place with this couple was the TODDLER SITTING ON THE MOM'S LAP IN THE FRONT SEAT WITHOUT A BELT!!!! WHAT THE HECK!?!?!?!

I had heard about this little Italian secret before I came here, various blogs from non-italians told about seeing it for the first time. I hadn't seen it at all until yesterday and honestly thought those people must have been making it up! Apparently it stems from the "I'm Italian and therefore I am the best driver in the world and will not crash" complex(similar to the bike complex from my previous post). This then also translates into "Baby is best in Mama's arms, and since Daddy is a great driver she doesn't need to be in a carseat".

It blows my mind

I would expect something like this from the Beverley Hillbillies, going to town in the truck thorough range roads with Junior on the knee, but not from respectable looking parents doing mach 10 on the autostrada in the rain!!!!
I guess its just their way of thinking, although I'm not sure what the rationale behind it would be, I'm fairly certain that statistics have shown that baby IS ALWAYS safer in a car seat. God forbid someone else blows a tire and spins out and you have to break suddenly....it gives me chills.
SO...if you're visiting Italy you might see this example of Italian parenting at its finest, I'm sure you'll just stare open mouthed like I did, utter WTF, and then shake your head slowly, looking back to check that YOUR precious bundle is safely strapped in the car seat!!!!!

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About Me

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Milan, Italy
I am 34 years old, married to my wonderful husband Richard and mother to a beautiful 8 year old daughter named Reese. We lived in the suburbs of Calgary until January 2010 where I worked as an ER Nurse. Then my husband was transferred to Vancouver for a 6 month temporary project. Our blog Tripping over the Sidewalk told all about our adventure living on the 30th floor of an apartment building in the middle of downtown Vancouver. Then we moved to Milan, Italy for 18 months, Ciao-Eh was the online forum for our Italian adventures. We moved to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates in January 2012 and lived there for two and a half years. Sandscrapers, Souks and Sand is the blog of our adventures in the Middle East! We are now happy to be back on a little acreage just outside of Calgary where I'm sure more adventures await!!!!

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