How Do China and U.S. Differ in Family Traditions?

April 20, 2017  By Xu Longchen  Editor: Amanda Wu

Dale Hackler [Southern Metropolis Daily]


An American man, who now works as a teacher in south China's Shenzhen, recently shared his ideas on how the U.S. differs from China in family traditions. In his eyes, a good family tradition is a "kind of friendship."

"Chinese parents are somewhat stricter with their children in requiring them to learn to play instruments and getting them into prestigious high schools and colleges," said Dale Hackler who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and arrived in Shenzhen two months ago.

"Although some American parents do that as well, my parents were much more easy-going. On most occasions, they respect my ideas and my choices," he added.

Meanwhile, Hackler also admitted that he sometimes regrets and hopes that his parents had been stricter with him. "For example, when I was a small child, I liked to learn the guitar. However, it was very hard to practice and my fingers often suffered cuts, so I gave up. If my parents had insisted, I could have been able to play now," said Hackler.

In most U.S. families, children are mostly the "winners" when divided opinions arise. "American parents prefer to make friends with their children in the hope that their children will like them," explained Hackler.

In Chinese families, the father may play a stern role, whilst Hackler said his father was his playmate. He then recalled when he was only 6 or 7 years old, he and his father rode a motorbike through trees; and, when he fell in love with football, his father who knew little about the game began learning to play it together with him.

However, this kind of friendship can also bring about some bad influences. "Take my cousin example. His child is 3 or 4 years old. Whenever his parents refuse to give him candies, the child will cry and scream, saying: 'I hate you!' As such, my cousin gives in. Frankly speaking, it's bad for the child's development," remarked Hackler.

Parental control can produce both good and bad effects, and what counts is to hold with a right balance, noted Hackler.

(Source: Southern Metropolis Daily/Translated and edited by Women of China)


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