Here in the States, the North and the South have vastly different cultural aspects and ways of life. The speech is different; the food is different; the general demeanor and approach to life vary as well. While parents in the North and the South have many broad commonalities, like they love their children and want the best for their futures, some parenting perspectives vary between the two parts of the U.S.
Grab a pot of tea and a monogrammed shirt, because we're about to get some lessons from the South. Check out these 20 parenting styles that we would only see from a true Southern Belle of a mother. Take notes northern mamas, some of these are worth swiping.
For women and girls living in the southern states, wearing your name on your sleeve is life...literally. Females in the South proudly don their initials throughout their entire apparel. Shirts, bows, bathrobes, and backpacks all rock girls' monikers. Aside from clothes, ladies' coffee mugs, water bottles, and beach towels will likely have some type of monogramming happening somewhere as well.
Having a go-to casserole in your recipe index is essentially a commandment for mothers raising kids in the South. Southern mommies probably inherited their signature dish from their mother or some older, female kin and the recipe is likely considered sacred. All southern casseroles will typically contain massive amounts of butter, cream, and cheese and will be "made with love."
Doling out daily tasks and chores are a part of life for southern youths. This component of life is deeply embedded in the culture. There is no running the neighborhood until street lights turn on until the day's tasks and completed and checked off by mom. Kids don't question their duties; they do them.
Moms that are raising families in the southern states teach their children to address all adults as "Ma'am" and "Sir" right out of the starting gate. Teaching the youth to speak to elders respectfully is as common as teaching little ones to say "mama" and "dada." Never will you find a youngster calling a grown up by their first name unless it is preceded by "Auntie." Also, no genetic relation is needed to earn the title of Auntie.
Bless this house. Bless this food. Bless this mess. Bless your heart... In the South, people tend to bless everything! Religion, particularly Christianity, is vast in the Bible Belt states, and because of this, blessing anything and everything has become commonplace. There is nothing wrong with throwing some blessings and good vibes out into the universe, and we can get down with this one.
I'm a 37-year-old northerner, and I still can not correctly set the table. Parents in the South would be mortified to learn this about me because they make it a point to teach their kids where the spoons, forks, and knives go. Southern moms are also keen on table manners. Their kids say grace, pass to the right, and excuse themselves before leaving the table.
Southerners take religion very seriously. Most families in the South spend Sundays in The Lord's House, making it a priority to devote the day to religion and their faith. For so long, prayers and worship were not only reserved for Sundays and the church though. They were said before sporting events, in schools, at meals, and pretty much everywhere that you can think of.
Boys and girls who are being raised in the southern states are probably being raised with a host of lessons surrounding proper manners. Using "the magic words" are a must, holding doors open for ladies is a no brainer, and addressing adults in the appropriate way gets taken as seriously as laws.
Football in the South is not merely a sport. Per thetab.com, football is a significant component of southern culture. In small towns all over Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas, entire cities turn out on Friday evenings to cheer on their high school football team. Prayers are sent up to the heavens in mass quantities asking for divine intervention as local teams battle rival towns for the win.
People have all sorts of differing views and thoughts on children participating in beauty pageants, but typically moms in the southern section of the nation are a little more accepting of the idea. While lots of people gasp at the thought of dolling a toddler up to look like a full grown woman and parading her around on stage, southern mamas love the sparkle and tradition that the pageant signifies.
Parents in the South are more apt to make their kids get outside and play. There is always some nook or cranny to explore in the South. There are mountains nearby, fields for as far as the eye can see, coastlines to wander down. Good luck trying to find an excuse to stay indoors and stare at computer screens all day.
Feeding anyone is a way of life. It doesn't matter if you are a full-on relative or a stranger off of the streets. Southern mothers will feed you a homecooked meal regardless. Packed plates and several courses to choose from are a southern mother's way of showing someone that they care. Kids certainly don't wander around hungry in these parts. There is always a mom with a homemade biscuit close by.
Southern mamas support each other. Know that there will always be someone looking out for your child as southern parents work as a whole to watch over people in the community. Per southernliving.com, watchful eyes are everywhere making sure kids do the right things and get to where they are supposed to be.
Storytelling is an art form in the South. Kids learn how to paint a picture real quick. They could be walking with mom through town, in a store or at the elementary school pick up line and they will undoubtedly be stopped by someone who has a long, intricate tale to weave for them.
Leading children by example is a core foundational value in parenting, according to Southernliving.com. Parents in southern communities rally together when problem situations strike and do what they can to help people in need, showing their children that the world around them is far greater than just themselves. Kids learn to take care of the people around them.
Southern kids are not bothered by the bugs and smoldering heat that often accompanies the summertime months. Summertime is all about exploring and fun, and southern moms make it their life's work to create memories for their kids. Whether it's day trips to neighboring towns or weekend excursions to the coastline, kids in the South are never bored come June.
A southern mother knows the term "Sunday Best" by heart. Sundays get reserved for family and The Lord, and kids will undoubtedly be looking their most dapper when the day of rest rolls along. Dresses, slacks, bow ties, and shiny shoes all get pulled out of closets for Sunday dinners and family gatherings.
Kids start accompanying dad on hunting trips from very early on. Hunting is another part of southern culture that parents infuse kids in as soon as they can. This is a time to learn about nature, providing for family and bonding. Parents in the South tend to have lots of freezer space for storing meat and a dehydrator for making homemade jerky.
Lilly Pulitzer, that is. Southern moms swear by fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer. Daughters on the staple shift dresses, moms rock the matching set and sip sweet tea from Lilly Pulitzer tumblers. In the South, the bright, swirling patterns characteristic to this specific designer have a place in nearly every home.
Giant bows in the hair and cute bow ties around the neck are fashion staples of the South. Southern mommies can NOT get enough of the bows. I once heard a southern mother announce that "The bigger the bow was, the closer to The Lord one would be." Southern girls have boxes upon boxes of big, colorful hair adornments. One for every outfit they own!
Resources: scarymommy.com, southernliving.com, matadornetwork.com