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 The child may also fear becoming dependent on other people, are often emotionally withdrawn, tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence, feels fear and anxiety or stress due to lack of family support and had an increased risk of substance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.

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.

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.

Recognizing Good Parenting — Part 6/8

April 30, 2011

From the Asian American Alliance, I discovered that the Asian-American population has the highest marriage rate among all ethnic groups at 60.2% compared to the national average of 54.4%.

In addition, NEIU.edu reports Asian-Americans with HIV/AIDs have the lowest case rate in America with 4 per 100,000 compared to 58.2 per 100,000 for African-Americans, 10 per 100,000 for Hispanics and 6.2 per 100,000 for whites.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health reported that Chinese have the lowest ATOD (alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use) rates in the United States.

Last, the teenage birth rate per 1,000 women 15 to 19 was three for South Korea, four in Japan and five for China — the lowest teen pregnancy rates in the world.

In the United States, the average teenage birth rate was 53 per 1000 women 15 to 19.

Continued on May 1, 2011 in Recognizing Good Parenting – Part 7 or return to Part 5


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.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

This post first appeared on March 24, 2011, at Crazy Normal, a blog about education, parenting and coming of age.

Modern Chinese Parents and Children (Viewed as Single Page)

January 28, 2010

A Guest post from Hannah in China (first appeared as a three part series with Modern  Chinese Parents and Children – Part 1, which appeared on May 29, 2011)

Before I start to talking about Chinese parents and children, first let us have a look of the currently pretty hot arguing book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which is a Chinese-American Yale law professor mom that wrote about how she was strict with her two daughters by making a lot of can’t doing rules, and she was acting like a wicked witch to push them to study.

I will not comment on which parenting method is better, Chinese or Western.

What I want to say is the book’s author Amy Chua’s way of parenting is typically Chinese though she is 4th-generation American.

Note from Blog host: Evidence of this may be found among reviews and comments on Amazon.UK. Rosie in the UK wrote, “I am Chinese now living in the UK and I admit I was outraged when I first read theWSJ excerpt of her (Amy Chua’s) book. My first thoughts were I can’t believe anyone would do something like that to their children. However, as I thought more about it and I guess living out here in the UK I’ve been so used to the numbing and dummying of our children’s perceived fragile self esteem and always making sure that their feelings and wants are met for fear of damaging them emotionally, I forgot that, hey, I was brought up pretty much the same way.”

Hanna says, “We Chinese have a long history of parents being strict with their children. From old days, the Ke Ju Kaoshi (official examination) was the only chance for people to change their fate and life.

“To achieve this, they must study really hard. We have an old saying about this “Shi Nian Han Chuang Ku Du Ri, Jin Chao Jin Bang Ti Ming Shi”, which means “Ten years of study at a cold window only for the day of passing the examination.”

“To study, students must be pushed even by using the stick.”

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.

In fact, in China, children should not argue with their parents and the child must do what the parents say.

When the child is good at studying, it means “Guang Zong Yao Zu”, (bring honor to your ancestors).

When you get the low score (100% score is best. 60% means you barely passed the exam. 90% is good. However, even just 1% lower and the child gets the “cold face”).

This not only means teachers calling parents endless times for meetings and punishment from the parents but it embarrasses your ancestors too.

This means when children are doing the homework, parents watch them until they finish to insure no mistakes.

Another recent review from Amazon.US points out an interesting thought. “The (Amy Chua) book raises an important question: Is America’s assumed educational mediocrity really the fault of our public schools (as some believe) or is it the fault of an epidemic of indulgent parenting (as others believe)? Asian kids seem to do remarkably well in the public schools… and raising little complaint about the quality of the schools.”

As for myself, Hanna writes, I think I’m the lucky one born in a family offering more freedom. Luckily I was a good student so my parents didn’t have to pay as much attention to me.

Did they spoil me? Sure. Did they care about my feelings? Yes, because they allowed me talk and argue with them.

If your child is no good at school, you must still love them. However, being strict so they have a good future is not worth it if they hate you later. No matter what kind of family you live in – strict or spoiled – the important thing is to love. Then the world can be better place.

(From the Blog’s host) Amy Chua was heard from again recently when she wrote for USA Today, Tiger Mom: Here’s how to reshape U.S. education.

Chua says, “My memoir — seen in the West as a story about “extreme” parenting — is being marketed the opposite way in China, as a story about the importance of giving kids more freedom. Amusingly, the book’s title in China is Parenting by a Yale Professor: Raising Kids in America, and I was asked by one Chinese women‘s magazine to give its readers tips on “how to be friends with your kids.”


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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