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5 ways for Chinese parents to help your child be the best

By MichaelM ( Updated: 2014-06-30 16:48

The most important people in a child's life are their parents. Teachers can certainly be a vital part, but, teachers have students, a limited number of hours a day, and usually, only for one year. Part of the problem with children in China is that the parents have only one child to focus all of their attention upon. This sometimes results in the child becoming spoiled. However, I've seen some parents in China who have excellent parenting skills and who are raising their children in a most excellent way.

Here are 5 things that good parents in China have in common.

1. They spend time with their children. In the West, you will hear people often say that 'love' is spelled 'T-I-M-E'. It's true. A parent must become an active participant in their child's life and the only way to do that is to spend as much time as possible with them.

2. Guide your child to right choices. I have a student who has taken English from me for almost three years. His mother is one of the most excellent parents I know. She knows her son well. She knows what he likes and what he's good at doing. She has identified four possible paths he can pursue when he's older (he's in middle school). She knows her child and guides him to things that he will undoubtedly succeed at.

3. Teach your child discipline. There are at least two ways the word 'discipline' is used in English. One means 'correction or punishment' while the other means 'self control.' I find that parents who emphasize self control in their children do not have to do a lot of correction or hand out punishment. The child learns to control themselves by the habits they develop through self discipline. I, along with my ex-wife, did this with our own children. I was lucky to have two girls. They were easier to teach self discipline to than most boys. I hardly ever had to punish or correct them. I just gave them guidance after teaching them.

4. Learn to balance being your child's best friend with being their parent. I consciously did this with my own children. I had fun with them when it was time to have fun. But, when it was time to be the authority figure in their lives, I had no problem doing that. My children, who are now grown, told me, "We were always a little afraid of you." This is a good thing. In fact, I taught this to a large group of managers at LG Electronics in St. Petersburg, Russia several years ago. I taught them that their employees should always be a little afraid of them. I was also called upon to give six hours of instruction to Chinese English teachers here in Henan a few years ago. I told the teachers that to be effective their students must 'like' them and, they must respect them. All of this proves true for parenting as well. Keep in mind that this must be done with balance to be effective.

5. Remember that praise works better than criticism. Parents who believe their role in their child's life is to be a critic do not possess effective parenting skills. Praising your child sets a high standard for them to maintain. Given along with discipline (see number 3), it raises your child's self-esteem and improves their self-confidence. A self-confident child will try to achieve more and almost always will succeed.

There are many ways to help your child be the best he/she can be. These are five vital ways that, when applied, will prove to be highly effective in molding your child to be the best they can be.

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