Jane Huang (right), Tan Dun (left) and their son [China Women's News]
Jane Huang, a Chinese parenting expert who studied in the U.S., recently explained how she educated her kids in their leisure time, and shared what she learned when she was growing up.
Before she had children, Huang used to work for a consultancy company. Afterwards, she set up a website called Mamabkoo and wrote a column called Ask Jane to share her experience on education.
When asked what makes a good father, Huang believes he should act rather than tell what is good; and, he should be highly-motivated and always try to be himself.
Huang's husband, Tan Dun, is a famous musician and, under his influence, his two sons learned to play several instruments at a young age.
Tan Xiang, Huang's younger son, dreams to be a musician like his father and surpass him in the future.
Being asked who affects the children most in her family, Huang said, "My husband is more like a dream builder. He shows children how to see things from different points of view, while I tell my children how to turn their dreams into reality. For example, my husband shows kids how beautiful a cloud is, and I will find them a ladder to take a closer view."
Leisure-time education is a big subject in Huang's family as she thinks children can gain a big vision and responsibility by having fun.
Doing exercise is a must for her family, according to Huang.
She accompanies Tan Yan, her elder son, to play tennis every Saturday. Her husband likes to go swimming or roller skating with Tan Xiang.
Huang said she has benefited greatly from the respect, independence and sense of humanity cultivated by her parents.
Huang said she and her parents are more like friends who can consult with each other.
After her graduation from high school, Huang told her father that she wanted to study in Beijing rather than Shanghai.
In her class, only Huang and another student chose to study away from their hometown.
Her father walked around a tree several times, considering Huang's idea, and then he said, "Okay, I support you."
She is eager to find things to explore and discover and she is confident she can handle anything, according to Huang.
In the 1980s, she quit her comfortable life at home and studied in America by herself.
What she learned from her parents shaped her concepts of how to educate her own sons.
On Tan Yan's 10th birthday, she booked an air ticket for him to share his happiness with his best friend who was in the U.S.
His son wrote about this experience in his application to Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, eight years later, according to Huang.
Huang gives Tan Yan only a few hundred dollars for living costs each month and he has to apply if he wants more. In addition, Huang insists his son has to turn to student loans if he wants to further his study.
"When I went to America, all I had was 250 dollars. I had to delay my study for half a year to secure my tuition fees."Huang said.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)