Childhood in Thailand

Topics: Southeast Asia, Family, Thailand Pages: 6 (1298 words) Published: May 12, 2015
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PSY 103 01 Child Development
Child Development in Thailand
Kerri McWade
April 12, 2015

I will be exploring childhood in Thailand as I am seeking an internship that will host me in the country for four months. I am inspired by the culture to pursue the application process of this opportunity, and with a little more research, I intend to learn as much about the country if I am able to travel there. The internship includes learning the native language of the country, Thai, in hope to be able to communicate well with the habitants while working there. The main focus of this internship consists of photojournalism in Bangkok, with a concentration of mostly real estate in the populated city. While living there, I will have the opportunity to photograph on my own free time, and perhaps children could be the main focus of my personal project.

The Kingdom of Thailand is located in Southeast Asia at the center of the Indochina peninsula. With a population of 69.9 million, the majority resides in rural areas. “In 2000, the World Bank reported that approximately 40 percent of the country’s population, or 25 million Thais, lived in urban areas and estimates that this will increase to 53 percent by 2010. Bangkok hosts about 12 million Thais” (Nations Encyclopedia). Thailand thrives with exports. Bangkok, the capital, is the center of social and economic activities (Nations Encyclopedia). Its main exports are rice, seafood, live animals, textiles and clothing, just to name a few (BBC News).

Thailand culture celebrates children every year with a holiday during the first month of the year. On the second Saturday of every January, Thailand celebrates Children’s Day, like many other Asian cultures. This holiday celebrates children where McWade 2

parents usually take them to amusement parks for the day (Only Chaam). Thailand does not define the term ‘minor’, however a minor would be considered anyone under the age of 20, unless they are married. The same applies to minors in Thailand that they cannot engage in juristic acts without a legal guardian (Humaniam).

Child rearing practices in Thailand are circled around the family. To understand how children are raised here, it is important to understand the value of family in this culture:
“In Southeast Asian cultures, the family is an individual’s religious, economic, political, and social core. It is the first loyalty and primary obligation. The family obligation means that members must care for each other. For example, grandparents and older siblings care for the young and adult children care for their aging parents. Family relations and functions are clearly and elaborately defined. Mutual two-way obligations connect families, helping them with tasks such as parenting and creating strong bonds” (University of Minnesota).

The family bonds here are much stronger than western culture is accustomed to. Multiple generations live under one roof, with the oldest male being the patriarch. Many traditions exist with Thai families. There are specific roles of both boys and girls growing up (Thai Worldview): “In Thailand, children are given some house chores and they tend to follow gender lines; boys do not cook, do the laundry, or sew as they are regarded as tasks women engage in. Men are regarded as stronger and may get more difficult physical jobs

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than women. Some families have household help to do house chores. Most male teenagers cannot cook beyond simple dishes or heating pre-packaged meals” (Red Cross). The roles of boys and girls are always the same as the culture puts family first. The structure of each household is the same even though every individual home is different:

“The traditional family is structured by age and gender. Males are usually dominant and authoritarian. The father IS considered to be superior in all matters. Communication from father to mother and parents to children tends to be one way and top down. When...

Citations: "Education." UNICEF Thailand. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
"Encyclopedia of the Nations." Thailand. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.
"Thailand." Thailand. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
"Thailand Country Profile - Facts." BBC News. 27 Nov. 2014. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.
"Thailand." International Review of the Red Cross 7.77 (1967): 435. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
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