Irish parenting styles


Research conducted by My Nametags shows, 64% of Irish parents frequently reward their children while only 18% admit being quick to lose their temper.

Irish parents are the most likely to praise their children, the least likely to lose their temper when faced with naughty youngsters and take a more relaxed approach to parenting than their European counterparts, according to the recently released results of the international parenting study.

“Every parent will have a different set of values and style of parenting to the next, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but it is interesting to see the part nationality plays in these attitudes,” explained Lars B. Andersen, Founder and Managing Director at My Nametags.

International Parenting – Infographic

Top findings from the research 

Positive Parenting

While most parents in Europe admit to holding back when praising their children, Irish parents are far more vocal in their appreciation of good behaviour.

Relaxed approach

Discipline is also lower on the agenda in Ireland, with over 60% of parents saying they take a more relaxed approach.

In fact, when it comes to being strict, the Irish are most like the French, with 86% of parents from each country admitting they are only strict when necessary.

Independent Learning & Freedom

Almost 60% admit giving children freedom from an early age, while almost a third say they take a hands-off approach to raising children.

The research showed that over 70% of Irish parents say it’s important to let children do things for themselves and make mistakes in order to learn, while 45% don’t fuss over their children too much as they believe it helps make them more resilient.

Seen and not heard

More parents in Ireland strongly disagree that children should be ‘seen and not heard’ compared to the rest of Europe.

In fact, 62% of Irish parents believe children shouldn’t need to be quiet when in the company of adults – compared to just 3% of parents in France.

“There are two types of demands on all parents no matter which country they are from. The first are ‘necessary’ demands which are the same across all cultures – to protect and nurture our young, highlighted Bea Marshall, Parenting Expert and Founder of Yes Parenting.

“The second are ‘desired’ demands which vary according to beliefs and behaviours that we perceive as normal.

He added: “This is why we see cultural differences in the approaches and attitudes of parents across the research.”

Discipline & Rewards

Despite taking a relaxed approach, Irish parents still have favoured methods of discipline when children do misbehave.

Parents in Ireland are also more likely to use star charts to treat well behaved youngsters.

Attributes and Responsibility

When it comes to the attributes most valued in children, being respectful (47%) was the most important of all, according to the Irish parents surveyed.

Also appreciated by Irish parents is good manners (41%), kindness (40%) and a caring nature (33%) more so than parents in other European countries.

The research was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of My Nametags surveying 1,463 international parents with children aged 16 and under. The research was carried out in July 2019.

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