Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chinese Parenting

The internet is abuzz about a Yale Law professor's very interesting editorial about the virtues of disciplined parenting, as seen in many Chinese families.

From the WSJ:

Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that "stressing academic success is not good for children" or that "parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun." By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be "the best" students, that "academic achievement reflects successful parenting," and that if children did not excel at school then there was "a problem" and parents "were not doing their job." Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.

Read more here.  Read responses here and here.


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The notion of allowing our children to participate (and in a lot of cases, thrive) in team sports is as American as apple pie, but I might add that the notion is a lot healthier for our children than apple pie.

I completely agree with the Yale professor that American parents need to place more emphasis on academic success, but I will not go so far as to agree that American parents need to place less emphasis on participating in team sports for the simple fact that participation in team sports is healthy for our children both physically and emotionally.

Posted by: Tulsa Divorce Lawyer | Jan 16, 2011 6:02:18 PM

note: research indicates that kids who play team sports DON'T get much exercise time. recent media reports, I don't recall specifics, but basically the vast majority of time spent in team sport practice is spent not exercising

Posted by: SRM | Jan 21, 2011 1:29:28 PM

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