Developmental contexts have been studied in terms of systems of beliefs and practices, treated as part of general cultural models. This paper aims to describe aspects of parenting cultural models of a group of 200 primiparous Brazilian mothers from Rio de Janeiro, who had children less than 44 months old. Mothers answered the Socialization Goals Interview (SGI), and an adapted version of an inventory of beliefs about practices of care, developed by M. Suizzo. Answers to the SGI were coded in five categories and their subcategories: Self-maximization (SM), Self-control (SC), Lovingness (L), Proper demeanor (PD) and Decency (D), and scores in each of them were calculated. A factor analysis indicated three dimensions of mothers' beliefs about practices: Awaking and exposing the child to diverse stimuli (Stimulation), ensuring the Proper presentation of the child and Responding to and bonding to the child. Data was further analyzed in terms of subcategories of SM and D and of the relation to the factors mothers' educational level and sex of their child. Results showed that mothers from Rio de Janeiro share a cultural model of autonomy for their children, but that they also believe in the importance of their relationship to others.