Where have so many parents gone?

December 5, 2017

American Jobs Alliance.com reports, “China’s economic miracle is having a less than miraculous effect on nearly 60 million children growing up in the countryside with their absentee parents stuck at work in the big cities. …

“According to a 2010 survey by the All-China Women’s Federation, 80 percent of Chinese children being reared by non-parents are being raised by grandparents with a little over 4 million left to their own devices.”

In rural China, it is predicted that by 2025 another 243 million will migrate. The benefit for these rural to urban migrants is increased income, access to education and a higher standard of living.

However, many parents do not have  the money to take their children with them.

Rural Life in China says, “Researchers estimate that … nearly a quarter of the nation’s children and almost a third of its rural children are growing up without one or both of their parents, who have migrated in search of work.”

In the US, we call these children Latchkey Kids. In fact, Jareb Collins at Associated Content says as many as 77 percent of American youth are Latchkey Kids. If accurate, that adds up to more than 57 million American children.

In addition, in 2009, there were about 18.1 million children in the United States living in single-mother families. Source: prb.org

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Home Alone in Rural China

December 30, 2010

In rural China, millions have left their homes to find work in the cities.

However, not all have the money to take their children with them. Some children stay behind alone.

The children left behind  in China are estimated to be over 22 million. In the US, we call them Latchkey Kids.

In fact, Jareb Collins at Associated Content says as many as 77 percent of American youth are Latchkey Kids.

Xie Xiang Ling is one of those children in China that lives alone. She is twelve and tells her story to Al Jazeera.

Ling says she lives alone in rural Anhui Province.

Her parents work in the city and she takes care of herself.  Sometimes her parents come home on the weekend and sometimes are gone for months.

Ling said there are too many people in the city where her parents sell fruit, tea and nuts.

When Ling visited her parents in the city, she had trouble sleeping nights because the city is so loud and there are so many cars.

Back home, Ling does her own cooking and eats fruit.

At times, she helps on her aunt’s farm and pulls the vegetables from the ground.

In school, she loves language class and math but does not like the English class since the teacher always screams at the students.

Ling wants to go to college and earn good money but her family cannot afford to send her to college.

Learn more about China’s Stick People


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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