Child-rearing can come in vast and various forms when looking at different cultures. When it comes to the Latino community, Latina women are considered to be the primary caregivers and nurturers for the children in the household. It is the Latina mother that infuses the children with traditional values and beliefs.
Family is everything in the Latino culture. Unlike a typical American household, a traditional Latino household contains not only the parents and children, but a combination of extended family members as well. The phrase “It takes a village,” fits well inside the Latino community walls. For instance, a Latina woman who has a child is not expected to care for the child herself. She has a number of co-mothers to help her along the way. The assistance of extended family is valued to a Latina mother. She is considers the help an asset, not a hindrance.
Most Latina women live in patriarchal households. The men are the providers and the women do most of the cleaning, cooking, and caring of the children. Most Latina women who come from traditional backgrounds support these pre-existing gender roles and they encourage their children to act accordingly. For example, a daughter would be treated as if she belonged in a glass bubble. She would be expected to be pious and chaste. A Latina mother would be especially protective of her daughter. Her son would not receive the same treatment. He would have more freedom.
Traditional Latinas value familismo-loyalty, solidarity, and reciprocity-above all else. They instill these values in their children. A Latina mother feels a deep sense of responsibility towards teaching her children the mechanics of family loyalty. Family comes first and obligations towards your family must always be met. These values do not concentrate on individualism. A Latina mother teaches her children that their family is the source of their identities.