Season 1, Episode 6 - Parenting Differences Between The Brits & Americans

Charlie Baxter

What's this episode about?

In this episode your host Charlie has a conversation on parenting with Shana from The American English Podcast. They explore the norms and differences in the parenting cultures of British and American people.
As always there is a mixture of intermediate to advanced language for non-native English learners to better understand English. 
Being that it is a conversation between an American and a Brit, you get to experience the clear difference in our accents, intonation and usage of vocabulary. I hope you enjoy the show!
Please note: This transcript is only visible to you as you are logged in as a Premium / Academy member. Thank you for your support.

Transcript of Episode 6 - Parenting.mp3

Hello and welcome to the British English podcast, the show that helps you understand British, English and culture. And I am your host, Charlie Baxter, and I have a special guest with me today from across the pond, we can say across the pond as she is residing in California, in San Francisco, I believe, correct me if I'm wrong.

Is that close enough close to San Francisco? Yeah, close enough.

So we have Shana, who is the host of the American English podcast, which is very similar to this, but of course, all about American culture and American English, is that right?

Yeah, that's right. Hi, everyone. So glad to be here. Fantastic. How are you doing today? Oh, just fine. I just took a little nap before this conversation because I was feeling a little bit tired with my two little daughters. So I think this is going to be an interesting conversation today because it's all about parenting, right?

It is, yes. Yes, guys.

So today we're going to go into the differences between American and British parenting, particularly looking at the variation in vocabulary we use, highlighting the differences and the similarities due to the globalisation of English. Very often this is Americanisms making their way into the British English dictionaries and people's speech in the U.K. But it's not always the case. So it is always interesting to spot the differences in vocabulary and pronunciation and to help you learn the new vocabulary as we go along. So come on, Sharna, let's get into this. Firstly, what does your daughter call you?

Mom, I'm going to try and attempt the pronunciation. Mom, Mom, mom. So I would say mum are are mum and you would say mom. Hmm. OK, but actually, I want to see your reaction to this. I call my mum. Mummy, Mummy.

Ok, that was not a disrespectful laugh. I, I actually think that's very cute.

I'm very comfortable with that. To be fair, guys, my friends take the piss out of me for saying mummy and daddy. I even say daddy.

Wow. Yeah. Yeah.

Interesting. Yeah, it's so do they say Mummy and Mummy. Am I saying that right Mummy. Yeah. Yeah. Do they say mummy and Daddy in Australia.

I don't think so, no, they're a bit more casual, they're closer to you guys with a shortening of the word, so I don't think they would. Yeah, it is closer to like older English, like a couple of generations ago would have been very normal, I think, to always call your mum mummy. But yeah, my my mum and dad get offended when I say mum, she doesn't respond to me. She's like, no, I'm in response you. So you say mummy.

Yeah, well we have mummy but mummy sounds like a Halloween costume.

Ok, ok. So then you would say I'm your form of mummy. Yeah. Is it Mommy.

Mommy. But it's also I mean, you would have to be under the age of I would say five to say mommy. That's why I think you got that reaction for me when you said mummy, because it sounds like something a little kid would say to their parents.

So yeah. No disrespect, of course.

No, it's it's definitely taken. I remember when I, I was going through the sort of teenage years I would always phone home. And if my sister answered, I mean, oh, God, my friends are going to hear this is Mummy there?

And then the Aussie I'd be like, is is anyone else in the house, Mummy? Yeah. Can I speak to her please? Can I speak to her. That's funny.

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So even in England, some people do not say, mommy, mommy, mommy, when they're older.

Definitely not. I know they find it weird, but I'm just saying, like some families might still hold onto it. I see. Perfect. Not many, many, but yeah. OK, let's go on to the next one. What would you call a apparatus that a baby sleeps in an apparatus? Oh, difference there.

A crib. Well, crib. Well, we have a bassinet to bassinet for when they're very young and usually at six months they move into a crib. Yes, OK. OK, and what do you say?

So after checking with my sister, I found out that we start off with what's called a Moses basket. And I suppose anyone who knows biblical stories will understand the name of this. Moses was put in a tiny basket. I think he was it was made of straw and he floated down the river. But nowadays, the baskets that they're not made of straw and you don't tend to leave your baby in a river, but an alternative to this phrase, a Moses basket, now that it's rather common to have very young babies sleep next to the mother, we call it a sleeper or a next to me. I think there must be a brand that has done very well with its marketing. And that is a a small bassinet. But it goes next to the parent's bed. And then when they're ready, they would transition into a cot. And and you say a crib or a bassinet.

Yes. Bassinet being it's very cute. It usually has an, I don't know, kind of a cover over it. It's something that you would see in like a fairy tale book when there's a little tiny baby, whereas a crib usually has the slats on the side and it's bigger, kind of like a giant box or a prison for a baby. A little bit of a difference.

But Cot is that's interesting because normally my association with COT would be when people go to summer camp and they sleep in a cot, it's like the bunk bed that the beds that are on top of each other.

We usually call those cots. And I don't know why it's associated with camping, but I get that feeling when I hear that word, not that it wouldn't be necessarily for a baby. So that's interesting.

Oh, yeah, that is. Yeah, we would just call that a bunk bed. We don't really have the summer camp experience that you guys have, which was on the list to discuss. But before we get onto that, I want to point out the vocabulary we now use for pushing children around for transportational purposes.

We used to always say pushchair. You say strella, don't you?

I say Straube. It does preamps exist. I thought Perram was the British.

Well, I think we call the one that lies flat for a very young baby, a pram still.

Really. And then it goes into a buggy when they are sitting up. And then, yeah, if, if the if the buggy can squash down and they're quite thin, that's it. Pushchair but yeah, it's more of a buggy nowadays. I guess it's the technology advancing.

Oh wow.

Ok, so a buggy and a pushchair would be the British terms for stroller, right.

Yeah. Yeah. So this is, these are vehicles to push your little child around in. But going back to camping in summer camps, I feel like that is something that we're missing in our culture. I'd like to bring that over to to the UK. You should. We've got something pathetic called beavers and brownies. You've got brownies though, haven't you? This is the club that schoolchildren go to.

Well, we have brought brownies are a type of age group in Girl Scouts. Is that what you mean by the Girl Scouts?

Yeah. You've got the Girl Scouts and you call it the Boy Scouts.

Yeah, the Girl Scouts in the Boy Scouts. And then when Boy Scouts get older, I think Boy Scouts actually stay in the group for much longer. And so they become Eagle Scouts later on and that's when they try and get all the badges on their uniforms and do different things. But what did you say? It's called in British English.

It's called scouts generally, but the age bracket changes the name. And I think it starts with beavers. A beaver. OK, yeah. I'm not familiar with a beaver. Oh, very nice. Yeah, yeah. I remember not getting on with the boys in that beaver group because I was quite a good boy and they were all running around and causing mayhem. And the lady would always say, raise your hand and to show that you're ready for the next challenge or something. And I would just be tired holding my hand up because they're all they wouldn't follow. So, yeah, I associate beavers with just doing that pretty much.

Ok, but did did you not go camping then.

That's what I was going to like, link to summer camps. It's not until you do like scouts to think that you take it a bit more seriously and you get that trip away from the parents. I see. Yeah. Yes. Summer camps would be good.

Ok, yeah, it's very fun. I'm a big fan of summer camps.

Would you put your children through summer camp?

Well, there's different types of summer camp. Actually, my friends growing up, I live in an area where there are a lot of Mormons. And so I'm not Mormon, but a lot of my friends were Mormon, and so they always had these fun activities and one of them was summer camp and it was just for a week. And so I went to Mormon summer camp. Well, we call it summer camp for even if it's for a week. And I went every single year growing up. So that was the only camp I went to. I know that other other kids are sent to longer camps like a month long a month and a half. I don't think it usually spans for the length of summer, which is usually about three months long. School ends in January or June and starts up again in September usually or end of August. And so it's not like parents usually send them away for the whole time. It's just. Yeah. Portion a portion of it, but.

Right. Yeah, but that would be quite a nice thing to be able to do as a parent to send them off during that summer break because it can be a long experience.

Yeah. So I think I would only do send them off for like the two week camps, you know, three weeks if they're a certain age. I don't know. What about you.

Um, I think I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. I assume that I would think it's a good experience for them. I don't want to be one of those parents that just send them off to boarding school and barely see my child. Right. But, uh, yeah, if it's a if it's a chance for them to increase their social skills, I'd say definitely good.

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. It's definitely an especially outdoorsy skills to like, you know, I don't know about girls necessarily tying many knots and things, but there are things that you learn at summer camp like I don't necessarily need on a daily basis, but, you know, just certain things that if you're going hiking like how to bandage a cut, if someone gets hurt, you know, these life skills I think are pretty important as well.

Yeah. Yeah. I think their life skills that I missed out on, I don't know how to do any knots. I only know how to do my shoelaces.

Do you know how it is. Oh no. He's been deprived as a child. So how many nights do you have in your repertoire?

Oh, um, right now I don't know if I can remember them.

Honestly, I wish I could give you a couple of a couple of minutes with a rope. You might. They might come back to you.

Yeah, I'm actually trying to remember the names of them. It's not coming to me on the tip of my tongue, but not quite there. So I definitely probably forgot how to do them.

Yeah. OK, so the next one was the the thing that a baby sucks on to calm themselves as an infant. What would what would you call that. Well, so I'm not talking about your breasts. Oh, talking about the.

Yeah. The other thing, the plastic thing or.

Yeah. The plastic silicone although some. Yeah. Yeah.

So we would normally call that a binky. That's what I always call it. I think there is a fancier term which is the pacifier, but normally with friends, uh, friends, family, I mean no one would really say pacifier. We just say binkie like where's their binky. Yeah. And wow. Yeah. And what about you. Yeah.

We call it a dummy dummy. I had a shocked face. Um, you guys listening. I went I my jaw dropped. I've never heard of that binky. I always thought you were you would call it a pacifier.

I think he's the go to but I, I certainly certainly like dummy. You suck on a dummy. That sounds so funny.

What is a dummy mean for you.

A stupid person. I don't know. Just Yeah.

Yeah. In American kind of playground language that's that's thrown around a lot isn't it dummy.

Oh dummy. Yeah exactly. Yes. Yeah, yeah. I like though we say you idiot, such a dumb uh such a dumb arse dumb arse.

We would say dumb arse quite a lot. I mean that's a little bit older probably.

And uh but little kids with, with little kids use that.

No. Yeah. That's a bit rude isn't that dummy.

Oh wow. Those little those Brits. I've always imagined British people to be so polite so it's hard to imagine themselves as a dumb arse or even idiot. I've just imagined politeness all around so.

Yeah, yeah. OK, the next one. Where do kids go to the toilet.

They go potty, they can potty. We can say they go potty or they go to the potty. So the potty is the actual, the physical. Well it can be the actual just toilet, the regular adult toilet or you can be like us and get like this little plastic toilet that's a replica of the adult toilet to help them potty.

Train, um, yes, yeah, yeah, we call it potty training, um, we obviously say potty, potty, potty, but we wouldn't call it necessarily I'm going potty or going potty. That doesn't sound right. I'm going potty that. Yeah, that I'm going OK. Yeah. We would say I'm going to use the potty or. Yeah. Go use your potty. OK. OK, so you do use the term potty party, the little one that encourages them to, to use the big, the big toilet. Yeah. We would call it a potty.

Yeah. We're potty training right now so that's, that's fun to. Yeah. No I don't necessarily want to talk about that, but um I'm glad this word came up because it just reminded me of the disaster of last weekend. OK, very funny. Very well. I will not criticise Julia any more today, so save that. OK, very good.

I was going to say will move swiftly on but um OK. What is the name of the activity of fluid coming out of the body. What is that called. Pee Pee wee. Wee wee would say pee but we also use we going for a week. Do you use we.

Uh not really, no. It sounds familiar though so I'm thinking maybe I heard it possibly on a British show. Mm hmm. I'm not sure.

Go for a quick way. I would say that as an adult as well, I'm going for a quick way.

Ok, it doesn't sound so, um. It doesn't sound bad. I definitely would understand it. And I feel like I've heard it, but I can't really distinguish from where.

Ok, ok. But in that sentence, would you just replace it with P or as an adult you don't use that language.

Um, we usually say I need to use the restroom. Like if I wanted to be more polite, um, I need to go pee, I would say in my household with my husband and family members and stuff like where I'm not necessarily needing to be polite. So I would just yeah. I need to use the restroom. Um, where's where's the bathroom? Sometimes you say too much. I think you just don't use the term bathroom. Right.

Or restroom really. We say toilet, which is a little bit more direct, which is against our culture because it makes you think of them doing something on the toilet. I like I like your phrase. I need to use the restroom or the bathroom. It's actually quite. Yeah, it's stepping away from the activity which. Yeah. Isn't that. Yeah. But with all this toilet talk it's making me think of um. Yeah.

The thing that you put around a baby's waste diaper. A diaper. Yeah. We say a nappy and nappy. Uh do you ever use that word.

No. Is it also a napkin in British English or is that something else.

Um, a napkin is what you put to your mouth when you've dirtied your your mouth from eating. So hopefully it's not the same thing, but, um, OK, maybe it came from that. Maybe we. Yeah. Maybe that's how it's the etymology of it.

Ok, yeah, I was just thinking of I do you are you familiar with Trevor Noah, the comedian? Yes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

So he had a I guess, a performance that I saw on Netflix and he was talking about this issue with Nappy and how he went to a taco place in L.A. and he was asking them for I was asking them for a nappy or a napkin.

Ok, then give me two tacos, like two tacos coming up. That goes to the back. Start preparing the food comes back a few minutes later, I get my friends your tacos already. So thank you, ma'am. Thank you very much. Yeah, you want to you want a napkin? So I'm sorry, what do you want, a napkin and now L.A., this is where it gets weird for me because you see where I'm from napkins. Other things, babies were.

To hold their shites.

The thing for your mouth, we call a serviettes, but I didn't know that, so at this point, this manager turned to me, offered me food, and then said, You want a napkin? I said, I'm sorry, I'm confused, what why would I want a napkin, so, you know, man, for the mess, I've got worse.

Yeah, I actually remember that I've listened to a lot of his stuff, he's funny, Trevor Noah guys, he's all over Netflix, I think, and he's got a show in America, but he's kind of taken it to lock down. Yeah, he's been in lockdown and he's been staying in his apartment for the last, like almost year, hasn't he? Yes. Yeah. Uh huh, yeah. He's very active. Definitely all over. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Good guy to to get some good listening from, but he's South African, so it's an interesting accent for you guys.

Yeah. Okay. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast. You're welcome. Thank you. As I said before, Sharna is a host of her own podcast called the American English Podcast. So you can go over to there on any of your preferred podcast apps. Do you have a website that you recommend people to go to?

Yeah, American English podcasts, dotcom. Brilliant. Brilliant. OK, yes, that's the one.

All right. Well, thank you so much.

Oh, thank you. It's great talking to you. Fun topic.

Yeah, likewise. I can't wait to hear when you're going to be a parent.

I will be back soon in three or four years, maybe sooner. You never know. All right. Thanks a lot, guys. See you soon. Bye bye.

Remember, if you want transcripts of this podcast, then head over to the website.

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Thanks again for listening and bye for now.

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Shana does a very similar podcast to this show but for American English learners. She's lived in a handful of places over her years and now resides back in the states with her Brazilian husband and two young daughters. 
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Podcast host: Charlie:
This will be quite a bit harder for you to understand, as there are a number of accents in the conversation, some poorly delivered at times, as you will notice.

Podcast host: Charlie:
But the aim is to give you a variety of dialects in one conversation and some dialogue to give you native expressions in context. So enter, if you will, to Charlie's pub and his imaginary world.

Character: Mike:
Alright geezer, how's it going?

Character: Chris:
Yes, I'm well thanks. How about you? Have you had a good day?

Character: Mike:
Can't say good mate. No my old man he's been giving me a right old earful for what happened on site last week.

Character: Chris:
Oh that's a pity. Are you back on your dad's building project again?

Character: Mike:
Sad to say mate, but yeah, I am. Couldn't resist this one though. Cash in hand, you know.

Character: Chris:
Oh fair play, hard to resist those I imagine. Oh, here she is.

Character: Emily:
Oh, hi.

Character: Chris:
I was wondering if you're ever going to join us tonight.

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About Your Teacher

Charlie Baxter

Teacher, Podcast Host, YouTuber
Charlie is the host and creator of The British English Podcast & Academy. He has also been an active YouTube English Teacher since 2016 but after seeing how many of his students wanted a more structured, carefully designed way to study he decided to create The British English Podcast Academy.

It focuses on British culture, informal expressions, accent and history that is all unique to the UK.

Charlie has spent 6000+ hours teaching intermediate-advanced students since 2014 privately on Skype and has seen a lot of different styles of learning and while he believes there will never be a single CORRECT way to improve your English there are a large number of methods that people use that do waste people's time and prevent them from improving quickly.

So Charlie decided to create The Academy because he believes he knows a VERY effective way to improve your English quickly and enjoyably.