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Parents or grandparents - who should look after children?

By chrisjune0611 ( Updated: 2014-07-03 17:32

“If you get married and have a child, do you think you will leave the baby in the care of your parents or look after him or her yourself?” This was a recent topic in one of Jim’s oral English classes. Jim is a Canadian who has been teaching English in China for several years. He was my teacher when I was in college, and we all loved him because he had insight into the differences between the East and the West.

“What did your students say about this topic?” I asked Jim about the group of students he is teaching this year. Young people grow up in a new world, in which they live for the internet, watch American dramas and go crazy on DIY tours around the world. “I am one of the new generation and I am curious about their answers,” I told Jim.

“Many of them think it is better for the grandparents of the child to take care of the baby,” Jim said. I expected that because it is absolutely a tradition in China that a baby is brought up by its grandparents rather than by its parents. “My students said grandparents have much experience in looking after a baby,” Jim said.

I know Western people prefer to look after their babies themselves, so I asked Jim whether he talked about this with his students. He said he just asked them two questions. The first one was: ‘Who brought you up?’ and, after one student told Jim he was brought up by his grandparents, Jim asked him: ‘Then how did your parents get the experience to look after your baby?”

Who should look after children? Parents or grandparents? We would be happy to hear your opinions - and please tick the appropriate box to indicate if you are a parent, grandparent – or “none of the above.”

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