Xenophobe's® Guides: The Spanish family influence
Grown men live with their parents, and children rule the restaurants? Family plays an important role in understanding Spanish behaviour.
Xenophobe's® Guides: A book series that highlights the unique character and behaviour of different nations with insight and humour.
It could be said that the family governs the Spanish outlook on life. Family and home are much more important than material gain, and moving away from the bosom of comfort and security is not considered a priority. In fact, mothers do not understand why their sons should want to leave home for any other purpose than to start one of their own. Even then it is the wife who is expected to move away from her family, not him.
The Spanish woman is devoted to her boy child. Mothers carry on looking after their boy till the child is in his forties, invariably scheming behind his back to make sure that he never leaves home without feeling unbearable guilt, except if he marries a girl of his mother's choice. When this new wife produces a baby boy, the new grandmother will plague her with advice on how to bring up the baby... and so the whole process repeats. Because of this, most Spanish men are brazenly spoilt mama's boys all their lives, although as a taboo subject, this should not be pointed out.
To the Spanish, children, to whomsoever they belong, come first, and the banning of them from bars or places of adult entertainment, as sometimes practised in Britain, is not only unthinkable but looked upon as barbaric.
Children should not only be seen but encouraged to be heard, loudly, for they are evidence of life and continuity, which must be heralded with joy. They are pandered to and rarely corrected. They are never sent to bed as a punishment; indeed, they are never sent to bed at all. Many a toddler will be seen playing with a toy under a crowded café table at two in the morning, while the proud parents and friends admire the olive-shaped eyes, the curly locks or the latest in designer rompers.
For more, read The Xenophobe's Guide to the Spanish.
Reproduced from Xenophobe's Guide to the Spanish by kind permission of Xenophobe's® Guides.
Photo credit: Arie Westerduin
Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.