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Children need time to play

By Lisa Carducci | China Daily | Updated: 2012-04-19 08:14

Children need time to play

In the West, tiger mothers and wolf fathers are considered examples of extreme parenting. However, many Chinese parents put pressure on their children and probably look to such tiger mothers and wolf fathers as role models.

When I first came to China in 1985, it appeared to me that such pressure concerned only high school students who were going to enter universities. But in the following years, the phenomenon gradually encompassed first primary school children, then those of pre-school age, and finally newborn babies and pre-born children.

In the last two decades, the competition to do well in the national higher education entrance examination, or gaokao, has "infected" lower levels of school entrance, and even for access to a good kindergarten, children have to pass exams and interviews.

Children need time to play

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