Raising kids in China

Hello everyone,

How is raising kids in China different from raising kids in your home country?

What are the activities that your kids seem to enjoy the most in China?

Do you feel that the country is "family-friendly"?

Do you recommend China as a good place to raise kids? Why or why not?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


China is very family friendly.

It all depends on what passport that you have provided for your children. If you wish them to be non-Chinese, then you will limit their integration and educational opportunities.  They will need to be home schooled and attend an expensive private and international school. There are "work arounds" to enable them to attend local schools.  I would suggest that these be utilized.

I would prefer to raise my children in China rather than the United States.

The cultural attitude is really different and the pollution scares me.  My in-laws are always ready to step in and often overstep their boundaries in our child raising adventures.  Especially with the anti cold attitude.   In many ways it's been easier and cheaper with the frequent doctor visits but I also feel that the dirty environment is a cause of those frequent trips.
     For activities we always let our girl play in the playground and the children's play area at the local shopping mall.  She loves going outside and seeing new things and just walking around.

China is family friendly and my kids enjoy their time here.
I think if you don’t want to divulge your children in Chinese culture then you must pay a higher price for good education. Otherwise there are many good public schools.

In my experience, being a mom of children with special food needs, Chinese public school doesn’t suit us and usually the administration and staff in public schools are not well aware about expats different cultures and values so they cannot accommodate their needs.

But I really appreciate Chinese as a nation to respect your culture as they have such rich cultural heritage.

Our little boy is eight years old. He was born China-style (which is usually Cesarean) in a Chinese hospital, which is a story in itself. My wife within weeks registered him as an American citizen. The upcoming two years we did it the Chinese way which involved a slew of vaccine shots. We refused to start him in school for a full day at 3 like everybody else, and I began slowly teaching him English. He now goes to a Chinese school and has Chinese everything but gets his dose of creative thinking from me daily (my business involves art). I require him to exercise every morning, use his game-boy only on weekends and his mother takes good care of his -and mine- food intake as eating fresh in China is normal. He is a good boy. BUT he is still a boy and prone to boyish tendencies which I acknowledge and must council on constantly as his peers are taught regimental socialistic style. Sometimes I fear for his soul but feel he will be ok with constant encouragement and love. He now exceeds in reading and English skills and (poor boy) has a minimum of 2 hours of homework every night. What I find most remarkable is the machoistic thinking of most dads who choose NOT to get involved with their children. It is sad.

I was a bit tentative about sending my son to school in China, but so far, it has been a great experience for both of us.  Granted, we took the expensive bilingual route, mostly because he speaks only English, but as it turns out he is learning Chinese and even has Chinese playmates.  It has been great to see children of all cultures become one...and through his school, I have made some very good new friends...I recommend that all kids be exposed to and live in a foreign culture...

No way shall I raise my kid in China.  My mother in law and 2 nieces (7 and 5) live with my wife.  The Mother in law hits the nieces with sticks daily for such infractions as not chewing fast enough. 
First grade for the nieces have 95 students.  Massive homework.  No time for playing or imagination. 
The smallest niece has Dyslexia but the Chinese system has no individual support that she shall need.  It is designed for mass processing. 
Chinese society lacks empathy.  It shall effect those raised in it.


Different folks have different thoughts.  That's fine. Most of the Chinese that I know are pretty decent folk, so I am a little perplexed in @Dolphynn statements. The children are [1] smarter, [2] nicer, [3] kinder, [4] more knowledgeable, [5] able to speak multiple languages, and [6] are part of a prosperous large nation that is a growing world leader.

Compare that with an American education.

The American interns that come to my company to work for me are generally [1] ignorant, [2] have poor reading, writing, and math skills, [3] expect to be given awards for every task. There is no pride or understanding of doing what is expected. [4] aside from the Chinese-American students, they all speak only English and often with serious interjection of slang, and finally [7] they are part of a declining nation that is losing global prominence.

Chinese students are neither smarter nor dumber, kinder nor meaner that American students, I say that after 10 years of teaching in America and 3 years in China. There are more Chinese parents trying to improve their students' educations, and Chinese students have better study habits, but they struggle to apply their knowledge in open-ended assessment because they have not had much practice in it, The schools are run in a very unempathetic manner, strict and focused on end results, with little attention to individual growth. This is how Chinese culture manages their massive numbers and this works for them to some extent. My children have been here for 3 years, and it's a beneficial experience, but I would not want them to spend their entire childhood at international schools in China. I think one would need much more cultural flexiblity to handle public schools.

I don't think Chinese kids are smarter or less smart than American kids.  They just have better study habits impressed on them by the whole society. And pressured by the impending Gaoke exam.  One test to decide their fate in tis society.

The Chinese University system; however, is inferior to the US system.  In the US, the graduation rate is about 30% because the system only graduates the best.  It is very competitive and Darwinistic.   US also requires a rounded education (English, Math, Science, History, Art and even physical education).  The Chinese system graduates everyone (99% graduation rates) with the attitude that the kids worked hard to pass the Gaoke, now, at the University they should relax.  And, the education is major focused, so they get done sooner.  They are simply not as prepared as they would be from a US University.

I thus believe, the high school graduates are better in China while the college graduates are better in the US.

Note though, on both sides there are exceptions, in the US there are some very well prepared high school graduates and, I have been blessed to be able to hire and work with very talented Chinese University graduates.

I have realised that China is a very good place to raise kids for the few months I have spent here and actually im considering this...
I live in shanghai and I love this place!

Brocsmit :

but gets his dose of creative thinking from me daily (my business involves art).

Lucky kid
Creative thinking is so important to kids but many education ministries simply don't see it as important, preferring a Victorian 'learn without thinking' approach to teaching.

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