Child-Rearing Practices in Chinese and American Cultures

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Child-Rearing Practices in Chinese and American Cultures
The generally accepted way in which children in a society are raised, constitutes its philosophical and social child rearing practice. Child-rearing research has focused on understanding differences in parent’s beliefs and values, characteristics of cultural socialization, and the implications of such variations. “Chinese parents traditionally stress their authority over their children and expect unquestioning obedience from them” (Chiu 1987). In America, a parent’s main focus is what they should do for their children to help them succeed in life; Chinese parents raise their children to do what is best for their parents and society. Significant differences were found in Chinese, Immigrant Chinese, and American child-rearing practices. Typically, Chinese child-rearing is considered Authoritarian, while Immigrant Chinese seem to be more Authoritative, and Americans, a mix of Authoritative and Permissive. The extreme cultural and historical differences between China and America directly affect the way these societies teach and train their children, having benefits and detriments to both.

Chinese families traditionally raise their children based on Confucius’ teachings, which emphasize the virtues of filial piety, parental control, obedience, strict discipline, respect for elders, and reverence for tradition. They also emphasize the obligations to family and the importance of education. This style of parenting is also known as authoritarian parenting. “Authoritarian parenting is characterized by attempts to shape and control the child according to absolute standards, placing high value on obedience and respect for authority, and discouraging reciprocal parent-child communication”(Lieber, Fung & Wing-Leung Leung, 2006). Even though Chinese parents are known to use Authoritarian parenting, the early years of childhood are seen much different. Mothers use these few years of childhood to grow close to the...
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