What’s life like as a child in China? I’m not talking about the poor children on the countryside who have to work in factories instead of going to school. I don’t know anything about that, other than that it exists. This blog is about the more fortunate children living in the city, who are comparitively wealthy.
Kids/babies are taken anywhere, any time. They either get transported in high tech, state-of-the-art strollers or quite the opposite. Meaning in bamboo or plastic strollers, wrapped in blankets, tied to mommy’s body or put in a basket on the grandparent’s back.
Grandparents play a big role in a child’s life in China. Usually both parents work fulltime, so the grandparents, who often live with or very close by them are watching over the child. Never an excuse to skip a meeting or take a sick day when your kid is ill. The babysitter is always available!
Homework is a big thing in China, starting from a very young age. Every day after school they go to piano class, extra English class, art class or whatever. Rarely they just go home after school to play with friends. When they get home, they first do their homework, then eat, and then to bed. There is hardly any play for these kids after the age of 5.
Obviously I need to mention the one child policy in this topic. It was the case till about two years ago, so a whole generation had no brothers or sisters, which resulted in a next generation without uncles or aunties. It makes it quite strange when you teach them about family by the way. But nowadays, parents can have two children and they usually call friends of the family their brother or sister or uncles etc. Very confusing. Prefering boys over girls is also not very common any more in the cities. They are equally welcome in most families.
Money is spend mostly on the children. They are the most important… You could see it as an investment, since the more you spend or your child, the better his/her life is. And the better their lives, the better they can take care of you when you are old. Win-win situation, I’d say! Time on the other hand is rarely spend on the child. Both parents work full-time usually. Sometimes even in a different town or city so they will only see their children in the weekends. But… when there is an activity at school, you will always have one or up to three family members to support the kid, which is wonderful ofcourse.
Fun facts about being a child in China:
- From 3 years old, they go to school from 8.30 till 5pm. Little ones sleep at noon in the classrooms.
- Babies and toddlers often wear pants that are split in the back. No diapers, just let it go, let it go…..
- The schoolbus has flashing lights like an ambulance since children are the most precious things on earth. Watch out…schoolbus coming!
- Breastfeeding happens anywhere, in the bus, restaurant or just on the street.
- Baby milk powder is expensive.
- They raise the Chinese flag once a week.
- Malls are a fun place for kids. They can play in jungle gyms, or ballpits for free! Other activities like fishing for real fish out of a little pool, playing with robots, etc costs a little.