A Brief History of Parenting – Part 3/3

June 13, 2011

As you may have learned in Part One and Two, Old-World parenting was an improvement over the way children grew up before the 18th century and the Chinese may have learned this parenting method from the invading Western nations after The Opium Wars.

However, parenting methods developed further and by the 1960s, according to research, the best method of parenting is not Authoritarian but Authoritative, which is characterized by moderate demands with moderate responsiveness.

The authoritative parent is firm but not rigid, willing to make an exception when the situation warrants. The authoritative parent is responsive to the child’s needs but not indulgent. Baumrind makes it clear that she favors the authoritative style.

The worst parenting style represents what studies show are the “average” child and parent in the United States today.  These parents are Permissive, Uninvolved or a combination of both.

Since the “average” parent in the US today talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day and the “average” child spends more than 10 hours a day dividing his or her time between watching TV, playing video games, listening to music, social networking on sites such as Facebook, or sending hundreds of text messages monthly, it is obvious what the results are. Source: Media Literacy Clearinghouse

Since the Permissive and/or Uninvolved parent has few requirements for mature behavior, children may lack skills in social settings. While they may be good at interpersonal communication, they lack other important skills such as sharing. The child may also fear becoming dependent on other people, are often emotionally withdrawn, tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence, feels fear and anxiety or stress due to lack of family support and had an increased risk of substance abuse.

Return to A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2 or start with Part One.


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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A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2/3

June 12, 2011

Amy Chua’s so-called Chinese parenting style, identified as mostly Authoritarian, is the “CLASSIC” no nonsense do as I say, not as I do parenting style that first developed during Victorian England in the 18th century. The other parenting methods did not materialize until the 20th century, so how Amy Chua raised her two daughters had been in practice for more than two centuries.

Amy Chua says, “I believed that raising my two daughters the same way my Chinese immigrant parents raised me was the right way and that I had nothing to learn from the laxer parenting I saw all around me.” Source: USA Today

Positive Parenting Ally.com (PPA) says, “I think we can see the early seeds of the authoritarian parenting style in the 18th century. At that point in time, parents in the Western world (particularly the British) began taking the first steps toward a mind shift and become more involved in their children’s upbringing.”

PPA also says, “The mind of an authoritarian parent likes order, neatness, routine and predictability.… Children of authoritarian parents tend to do well in school and are said to generally not engage in drinking or drug use. They know the consensus rules and follow them.”

Instead of calling this method of parenting authoritarian or Chinese, I’ve used the term Old-World, which fits and is an acceptable choice of parenting

Authoritarian parenting was a vast improvement over how children had been raised (or not raised) before the 18th century. Prior to the authoritarian parent, children were mostly treated as adults and faced severe punishments such as mutilation, slavery, servitude, torture, and death. In fact, the US has a long history of treating children this way. Source: Child Labor in U.S. History

It was in the 18th century that Western parents stopped seeing their child as a potential representation of dark and evil forces that had to be kept in check physically (harsh beatings etc.) and instead attempted controlling their minds, their feelings, and their needs.

Continued on June 13, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – Part 3 or return to Part One


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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 2/3

May 30, 2011

Guest post from Hannah in China

In addition, modern Chinese are also having many new chances but this still won’t change the way most Chinese parents raise children, because China now has the “Gaokao”, which is the high school examination to get into a university or college.

Because of the competition, parents can’t afford or wouldn’t dare to let the child just play and have fun. Children don’t know what is best for them.

Parents must force them to study but spoil them at the same time. When the child gets the great score, that means everything to parents. The kids don’t have to do anything else in life but study. Therefore, the story is the boy went into a famous college but didn’t know how to peal the eggshell.

Note from Blog host: Another review from Amazon.UK supports what Hanna is saying. The reviewer wrote, “I know how appalling some of those things sound to many. Not me, since I am Chinese myself and I have been brought up that same way, if not more strict.…. However when I grow up (now 40), I see the vast difference of parenting among other people in different countries (I live in UK now with my English husband), and what repercussions it has on the kids when they grow up. I am glad I was brought up the way I was.”

Hanna says, “Chinese parenting is not about ‘feelings’, but it’s not to say that the parents do not care.”

The child has to finish the school homework to 10 pm at night five days a week. Then after school, the child goes to the special training to develop other skills such as piano. This is not about what the the child is interested but it’s what the parents decided based on what they believe is necessary. What we learn in China is that the children have to attend eight different hobbies classes. There’s no free time.

Continued on May 31, 2011 with Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Discover Hannah’s review of Red Mansion, a Chinese TV series, or visit her Blogs at Hannah Travel Adventure (Chinese) or Hannah China Backpacker (English)


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Translating “We Do Chicken Right”

September 9, 2010

中學老師把 KFC 肯德基店裏的廣告 A middle school English teacher in China asked her students to translate China’s Kentucky Fried Chicken advertisement “We do chicken right”, and she received twenty-eight different translated answers.

Please keep in mind that the word “chicken” also means “prostitute” in modern Chinese slang depending on context.

[ We do chicken right!](烹雞專家)     發給學生練習翻譯,結果有以下答案:

Here is what the students wrote:

1. 我們做雞是對的!                    It’s correct that we be prostitutes,

2. 我們就是做雞的!                    We are cut out to be prostitutes.

3. 我們有做雞的權利!               We have the right to be prostitutes.

4. 我們只做雞的右半邊!           We want only be the right side of a chicken.

5. 我們只作右邊的雞!               We want to be chickens on the right side

6. 我們可以做雞,對吧?           We can choose to be prostitutes, right?

7. 我們行使了雞的權利!           We perform a chicken’s right.

8. 我們主張雞權!                        We call for chicken’s rights.

9. 我們還是做雞好!                    It’s better that we be prostitutes.

10. 做雞有理!                               It makes sense to be prostitutes.

11. 我們讓雞向右看齊!             Let’s ask the chickens to look right.

12. 我們只做正確的雞!             We only want to be the correct chickens.

13. 我們肯定是雞!                      We are prostitutes–no doubt.

14. 只有我們可以做雞!             We are the only one who could be prostitutes.

15. 向右看!有雞!                      Look at your right, there are chickens.

16. 我們要對雞好!                      We must be kind to chickens.

17. 我們願意雞好!                      We wish chickens all our best.

18. 我們的材料是正宗的雞肉! We use real chickens.

19. 我們公正的做雞!                 We must feel justified to be prostitutes.

20. 我們做雞正點耶∼∼               Time is right to prostitute.

21. 我們只做正版的雞!             We only want to be original prostitutes.

22. 我們做雞做的很正確!        To be prostitutes is to be correct.

23. 我們正在做雞好不好?        We’re making chickens – will that be okay?

24. 我們一定要把雞打成右派!We must turn the chickens into rightists.

25. 我們做的是右派的雞!        We are right-winged prostitutes.

26. 我們只做右撇子雞!            We are right-handed prostitutes.

27. 我們做雞最專業!                We are professional prostitutes.

28. 我們叫雞有理!                    The chickens and prostitutes are always correct.

China is a tonal language. There are four tones for each Chinese written symbol.  Each tone has a different meaning. Say something in the wrong tone, and you could insult someone.

Sir Robert Hart, the main character in the “Concubine Saga”, knew the importance of translating English into Chinese properly. Translation mistakes turn into insults that end in bad feelings that may lead to war.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.


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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline