Relationship between Parents and Children in Chinese Family
Apr 1, 2013
In general, parents from different cultures differ in the methods to deal with the relationship between their children. Comparing with the Western cultures, Eastern culture places greater emphases on stability, collectivism and peace. These values are believed to promote a kind of general restraint or control of emotions in the interest of maintaining group harmony. Thus, different from parents in Western culture, traditional Chinese parents do not express so frequently and obviously their loving emotion to their children. Meanwhile, Chinese parents, like the mother in Amy Tan’s article, have too much expectation to their children’s future career and give them painful stress. Certainly, this kind of parents mentioned above cannot form a benign relationship with their children, especially adolescents in the rebellious period. The point is the relationship between parents and children in Chinese family is conflicting from generation to generation because of different kinds of factors, and it causes a few serious problems such as smoking, drug use, and even suicide. Communication and interests can remit and finally figure out this terrible condition.
The causes of conflicting relationship between parents and children can be summarized as painful stress, high expectation and overload love. These factors are extremely common in the majority of Chinese family due to same cultural background and strict policies. Chinese college entrance examination is one of the most important examinations, because Chinese people believe that adolescents who are not in the top class are able to change their destiny as long as being admitted to a top university by Chinese college entrance examination. The diploma of an outstanding university guarantees a high-paying job. In other words, to a certain extent, this examination after twelve years basic education can decide one’s later life. Based on this background, Chinese parents highly expect their child can do an excellent job in the Chinese college entrance examination. In addition, since one-child policy, under normal conditions, there is only one child in one Chinese family. All parents and even other family members’ attentions are paid to this child. In fact, the only child has become the unique hope of parents.
As a result of having a single child, this single child is usually regarded as the continuing part and hope of parents’ lives. Because life of parent has almost been settled, they place their idea and expectation on their children and want them to their dream that they did not realize. In Amy Tan’s article, “Two Kinds”, with narrating of first person, Jing-Mei, the daughter in the article, has a conflicting relationship with her mother who grew up in China and is a traditional Chinese, because her mother extremely wants her to become a successful piano player and pushes her to practice a lot every day. However, the expectation of Jing-Mei’s mother is not what Jing-Mei wants in ordinary life. Gradually, she has fed up with playing piano and eventually quarrels with her mother after failure of a talent show. “Only two kinds of daughters,” She shouted in Chinese, “These who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter!” (84) These words show the normal thought from a traditional Chinese mother. She thinks that a daughter should do what parents ask to do because of parents’ sacrifice in form of money and efforts. It seems this kind of thought seldom works; on the contrary, children look forward to freedom instead of...
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