Expatriates from Western nations who arrive in China for the first time to work and raise a family may feel overwhelmed by the differences in lifestyle and language. But the easy availability of international schools which use English as a medium of instruction removes all worry about education. The cultural barrier is the most difficult to surmount for adults as children are able to adjust much more easily as they come in closer contact with local culture among school friends.
Discipline and Respect
As an expatriate you know that Chinese culture is very different from yours and may worry that children will feel alienated when they go back home, but the rich cultural heritage of China can teach them valuable lessons in discipline that they will not learn elsewhere. As a parent you can help your children learn the positives of both cultures so they grow up to be more disciplined individuals that respect elders.
Stress on education and competition
Competition in schools is high in China and all children are expected to study well to get seats in top schools. All children compete in academics and sports creating a spirit of healthy competition in all spheres and your children will also learn to prove their best at an early age. They will be able to pick up mandarin, which is the main language in China, easily in school and soon become multilingual which will improve their linguistic abilities and assist in future.
Most large cities in China have expatriate professionals from all across the world and if your children grow up in a neighborhood with this form of multicultural environment then it will be easy for them to settle down anywhere in the world. Children will visit new and exotic locations during school trips which will expose them to local culture and lifestyle.
Children in China are raised with a lot more care than in Western culture as they love kids and you will be surprised at the attention your children will receive in public places like parks and hotels if you leave them alone even for a few minutes. All family members share the responsibility of caring for children in China and they learn to respect elders for their kindly advice.
Whether you are staying for a short or long duration in China, raising a child in its culturally rich atmosphere is ideal for growing children as they will learn to respect others’ beliefs and practices.
Founders of havingababyinchina.com, Jeremy and Jacquelyn have four children. The first three were born in three different hospitals in China and the last was born at home in the US. Jeremy and Jacquelyn created havingababyinchina.com in 2009 after they found little information for foreigners having babies in China. They love connecting with other foreigners having babies. Learn more about them on the about page.