Parenting in China

To begin with, in the Chinese tradition the family was the central nucleus, shaping social and collective life. It offered its members great protection, but demanded in return absolute submission to the head of the family. Since 1982, when family law was reformed, pregnancy was thoroughly controlled from a medical point of view. The ultrasounds are carried out but the sex is not revealed to the parents, to avoid abortions of female fetuses. During pregnancy, especially in rural areas, women should not use needles, knives, or scissors, because they are considered to threaten the physical integrity of the fetus. She is used to covering the belly with a red cloth from the first months, similar to a small apron, to prevent the fetus from looking outside and seeing unpleasant things, as well as curiosity leading her to want to anticipate the birth. The apron is passed from mothers to daughters, or between relatives and friends.

The child has a name chosen only for him, he is not given the name of an ancestor or another relative. They are chosen or invented during pregnancy, being a name associated with a specific situation or an object. Each child is assigned three names: the first is the paternal surname, the second the proper name and the third a second name that may be common to their siblings or to the group of relatives. The name can be changed throughout life and in case of divorce the last name changes. In the case of children of Chinese immigrants, it is common to give them a local middle name that facilitates integration and does not present the problem of difficult pronunciation. Maternity leave is one year for the first child. With the second, prohibited by law, it must be incorporated within two weeks of delivery. If the first child is female, the prohibition is repealed and the second motherhood has the same rights as the first.

Mothers are often the greatest transmitters of the language. Especially for families from the countryside, the dialect of their area of ​​origin is taught and, simultaneously, Mandarin, which is the official language, especially at the written level. In the case of immigrants to the West, the official language of the country is also taught at home, at least in the description of objects, to facilitate integration. So they must be in three languages.

Educational messages are conveyed through stories and cartoons. The stories are narrated exclusively by the mother and serve to establish ties with the son. They can be sung or narrated, and their function is to remember the norms and remember the traditions, although they are not perceived as a sign of continuity with the culture preceding the cultural revolution, but as a vehicle for timeless, moral rules.

It is a very controlled, calculated and well organized culture due to the restrictions that the country and its culture present.

Photo by Wolfram K on

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