We got to see some good examples of how people bring up their children this summer - some good, some not so good IMO.
The Maltese seem to have a good way of doing things. In the evenings we saw whole families (kids, parents, grand parents) all heading out to parks and other public places for the evening. Near our hotel there was a play park with a bar. The kids played, the adults had a drink and socialised, people told each others children off if things got rough. Wonderful family time, every evening. This seems to produce some very well adjusted teenagers, who respect their elders and each other.
When we were camping, we saw some families where the parents seemed to THINK they knew what was good for their children, but they left us feeling very uneasy. In the worst family, the father was very authoritarian, and seemed to be drilling his children (all under 10 years old) for "success" in adult life. His kids were not allowed to just play - everything had to be a sport, played to the rules - tennis, football, rounders/softball, etc. No just chasing each other around, no just kicking a ball and chasing after it - it all had to be by the rules.
And then there were the constant questions. They started at breakfast.
Name 4 countries beginning with W.
Name 3 countries that have a consitutional monarchy.
Name 5 countries in South America.
This went on and on and on, whenever the kids give up trying to play like professional sportsmen. Some evenings we could still hear them when we were trying to go to sleep.
The result? As we were packing up, those kids were staging a rebellion, refusing to do what they were told, being "too busy" to help do jobs or answer questions.
Now I am all for encouraging children to do the best they can. It is only natural for parents to want the best for their children, but this sort of constant pressure is not good for them. I think it instills a feeling of inadequacy, that they are not good enough, not clever enough and that their parents are not really proud of them.
All of which, reminds me of a song....