Parenting in Mexico: Relationships Based on Love and Obedience

Document Type

Contribution to Book



Format of Original

18 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Parenting Across Cultures

Source ISSN



Mexico boasts the third largest population in the Americas and consists of the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. This chapter summarizes parenting in Mexico starting with the first half of the twentieth century that was characterized by the unquestionable and absolute supremacy of the father and the sacrificial role of the mother. Eventually counter-cultural beliefs emerged that have challenged these traditional cultural values (e.g., decline in agreement with submissiveness of females). In addition to describing research related to the unique cultural influences in Mexico on parenting, research on Mexican families conducted outside of the boundaries of Mexico is also included. Overall, it appears that particularly for families with very young children, there are more similarities than differences in parenting practices between families in Mexico and elsewhere. In order to support Mexican families who are experiencing challenges in child rearing, intervention programs have been developed to offer parent–child training programs with positive results for the parents and their children. Recently, parenting research has explored the possibility of bridging the indigenous psychologies, such as Mexican ethnopsychology, with mainstream psychology. The initial findings appear to support the idea that traditional Mexican values continue to exist while a progressive infusion of counter-cultural values are gradually altering Mexican parenting attitudes and practices. This chapter concludes by providing a brief glimpse into the lives of two families in Mexico, one from a small city and another from the country.


"Parenting in Mexico: Relationships Based on Love and Obedience," in Parenting Across Cultures. Ed. Helaine Selin. Dordrecht: Springer, 2014: 349-366. DOI.