The Chinese culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world with great emphasis on family traditions, discipline, hard work and merit. Chinese parents unquestionably pass down these habits to their children. If you are a foreigner raising children in China, your little ones automatically learn these values through outside influences. There are also other factors that could influence a child’s upbringing.
Education in China reinforces great discipline and excellence. Children are often subjected to strict schedules that are expected to be followed, failing to do so, often results in punishments. Methods like ‘shaming’ are often used by teachers at schools and at home by parents. An outsider might find these practices harsh or crude. So it is vital that you understand the nuances of the Chinese education system if you decide to stay in China long enough for your kids to attend school.
In China, help with childcare is readily available. If you are an expat raising children in China, you can easily opt for such services, unlike in the West. In the traditional Chinese family system, elders assist in raising the kids. However, nowadays hiring outside help is also acceptable. You can find full-time nannies, day-care help, or women who assist with household work as well as with kids.
If you are a foreigner raising children in China, and wishing to hire a nanny, just be mindful of a few things. Ask for references and ID card. Verify references, and ask detailed questions. Many older Chinese women who have raised their own kids work as nannies to make a living. They come with hands-on experience and prove to be of great help.
Even minute cultural differences can affect on how foreigners are raising children in China. For instance, in China use of diapers for kids is not as important as in the West. Parents simply look for the cues that child needs relieve him or herself and accordingly lead their kids to the bathroom (or tree, garbage can, or even the bus floor) to potty train. Therefore, your hired nanny or your child’s kindergarten teacher might have different ideas about the use of diapers.
For an outsider, certain customs of raising children in China may seem peculiar. But with a few tweaks, you can work around them. Additionally, raising children in China can work out great for you and your kids if you focus on taking in the good that Chinese culture offers like the support of family, easily-available help, focus on sports, education and hard work.
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.