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Parenting with Pride Latino Style

How to Help Your Child Cherish Your Cultural Values and Succeed in Today's World

Parenting with Pride Latino Style by Carmen Inoa Vazquez
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From a distinguished psychologist, mother, and Latina, Parenting with Pride Latino Style offers the first bicultural child-rearing approach for Latino parents. This groundbreaking book supports families in raising their children with time-honored Hispanic values while incorporating the best that North America has to offer.

Dr. Vazquez's unique parenting method, the New Traditionalism (El Nuevo Tradicionalismo), preserves classic Latino ideals, such as pride, family loyalty, and courtesy, while helping parents revise their traditional authoritarian child-rearing style, blending the best of Latino and American cultures and dramatically reducing cultural conflict in the family. Her seven steps to successful parenting are grounded in the acronym ORGULLO ("pride"):

O: Organize your feelings R: Respect your child's feelings G: Guide and teach your child; do not dictate U: Update your media awareness often L: Love your child for who she or he is L: Listen to your child O: Open the communication channels -- and keep them open

Self-assessments and reflection exercises help parents resolve the dilemmas produced when two cultures combine. Detailed examples show how to use these methods immediately in daily life -- from family relationships to children's friendships to school issues.

Clear, compassionate, and based on Dr. Vazquez's personal experience as a Latina professional and parent, Parenting with Pride Latino Style is the one book that enables contemporary Latino parents to pass on their rich cultural heritage to their children -- and to future generations as well.

HarperCollins; May 2009
288 pages; ISBN 9780061931178
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Title: Parenting with Pride Latino Style
Author: Carmen Inoa Vazquez

Chapter One

Parenting with Pride -- Latino Style:

The New O.R.G.U.L.L.O.

Select the number for each question below that best describes yourpersonal attitude; then add all the numbers to calculate your totalscore.

5=Always 4=Frequently 3=Sometimes 2=Rarely 1=Never

  1. Do you find yourself at odds with the way your child iscommunicating with you?

  2. Do you find yourself saying to your daughter, "You arenot going to do that because I say so"?

  3. Do you feel trapped between your parents or in-laws andyour children in a no-win situation?

  4. Do you find yourself doing things for your childrenthat non-Latino parents do not do and feeling bad aboutit? For example, chaperoning every party your daughterattends.

  5. Do you find yourself automatically saying and doingthings your parents and grandparents did, although youfeel you now know a better way?

  6. Do your children keep telling you, "You don't understand!You're too old-fashioned!"

  7. Do you feel it is your child who must understand yourpoint of view, not the other way around?

  8. Are you often told by others that you demand too muchobedience from your children?

Use the following scoring format for self-assessment, in this andthe chapters that follow: if your total score is 30-40, you are a truetradicionalista who could face significant problems with your children;you need to increase your Nuevo Tradicionalismo skills.

If you score 20–30, you show signs of potential problems andcould benefit greatly from learning the Parenting with Pride techniques.

If you score 10–20, you are already in great shape, but go aheadand read on to hone your skills even more.


Mercedes has just delivered her first baby, a boy whom she namedJulio. Her mother-in-law, Juana, has come from their country to helpout. But Mercedes, instead of being relieved, is feeling extra stressedsince the older woman arrived. She does not want to be disrespectful,but Juana is trying her patience severely, believing, as do most womenof her generation, that the baby must always wear socks and T-shirts,even in the middle of August. Juana also feels that Mercedes is actingunwisely by taking Julio outside after sunset, which will expose thebaby to the rocio, the evening dew, which is an invitation to catching aresfrio, a cold.

Mercedes and Juana also disagree about whether or not to followa feeding schedule, as the pediatrician advised. Juana insists that shesaw eight healthy children through infancy without following anyschedule other than the one dictated by the baby: that is, when thebaby cries, he knows he is hungry. Following a regimented schedule isnot what Juana sees as being best for the baby, regardless of what thedoctor indicated.

The only action that Mercedes can take to avert a family crisis iscount the hours until her mother-in-law goes home.


How can you take the bottle away from him?" demands Nina'smother, referring to one-and-a-half-year-old Pedrito. Even worse,the abuela (grandmother) thinks she is putting one over on her daugh-ter by continuing to give Pedrito the bottle behind Nina's back. Ninafeels torn between what her mother considers the right thing to doand what her friends are doing with their babies.When confronted,the abuela defends her position by claiming that she brought up fivechildren, including Nina, and never weaned any of them from theirbottle at such an early age. In the abuela's world, a Latina mother whotakes the bottle away from her child at eighteen months is being unkindto the child.

Old Ways versus New Ways

These examples illustrate how all Latino groups in the United Stateshave brought with them traditions stemming from their country oforigin.A Latino child's development often tends to be interpreted interms of a particular history and culture that dates back many generations.These traditional values must be understood and respected -- but so must the contemporary settings in which Latino children aregrowing up today. Being Latino or Latina is really a state of mind, notnecessarily based on the length of time a person or his or her familyhas lived in the United States. It includes membership in one's group,but also experiences associated with that membership. From this vantagepoint, to be a Latino or a Latina is a conscious (and at times unconscious)determination of who we want to be, what we esteem, andthe importance we place on passing these values on to our children.

Many Latino parents and grandparents have expressed having dif-ficulty letting go of the "way things were." But when we are living inNorth America, clinging rigidly to these "time-honored" beliefs cancause friction between you and your child. Lack of cultural balancecan stir up problems with discipline, communication, and the properchanneling of anger and sadness, all of which may affect your child'sself-esteem. Latinos are very clear that they do not want to abandonthe many wonderful aspects of traditional values, nor do they wanttheir children to. But given modern times and the need to adapt to theculture of the United States, the best way to ensure that these valuesare accepted by our children is to make some adjustments in how wetranslate them in our daily lives.

How do we move beyond the ironclad authority of traditionalrules and steer our children toward a more flexible meshing of oldand new -- so that they can enjoy the best of what both worlds have tooffer them? What follows is my redefinition of an Old World tradition -- los consejos, or words of wisdom. Through them, I share withyou techniques I've used successfully with clients to broaden theircultural horizons and raise well-balanced kids. Providing insight onhow to change with the times, los consejos not only give precise instructionsfor offering your children the guidance they need but alsodemonstrate El Nuevo Tradicionalismo in action: keeping your values,but recognizing when there must be an adjustment.