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A mix of US, Chinese education best for kids

By Liu Xiuying (China Daily)

Updated: 2015-09-17 07:45:28


Chinese mothers always try their best to help their children as much as possible, and even make crucial decisions for them without thinking what the kids want because they believe they are doing it for their good. Given these facts, the healthy growth of children and the education norms always have to yield to parents' will. If a mother registers her child for an extracurricular class to raise its chances of getting admitted to a key school, she will insist on it even if the child says "no" to the idea.

In the US, however, it is more likely to see mothers respecting their children's opinions and giving them more weight.

The great importance Chinese mothers attach to education is praiseworthy. Yet they should learn from their Western counterparts how to strike the right balance in parent-child relationship when it comes to education.

US President Barack Obama has on many occasions emphasized the importance of bridging the education gap between American and Chinese children. The differences in the two education systems and the roles of mothers in China and the US are stark. No wonder, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, written by Chinese American Amy Chua, triggered heated discussions on the pros and cons of Chinese and US education systems, not only in the US and China but also in other parts of the world.

Judging by the facts, a combination of Chinese moms' strict requirements and American moms' advocacy of independence could bring out the best in children, and take "mompetition" to a noble level.

The author is director of the family research center at China Youth & Children Research Center.

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