Raising Children in China: Would You Do It?

Raising Children in China: Would You Do It?
Dec 23, 2009 By Fred Dintenfass , eChinacities.com

Lately we’ve been talking here about marriage and dating. As the nursery rhyme goes, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.” The question we’re asking is whether you’d want to be pushing that baby carriage down the streets of China or some other land. China’s got Mandarin, jobs and opportunities. It’s also got Mandarin, pollution and bad history with baby products. We asked newsletter readers and those of you lucky enough to be on the Perspectives questions mailing list (read on for instructions on how to sign up) the question below and we’d love to hear your opinion, especially if you have kids or are contemplating having them soon.

Would you rather raise your children in China or abroad?

Photo: damien_farell

Perspectives seeks to promote dialogue and cross-cultural understanding by featuring Chinese and foreign responses to a single question. Email us to be added to our weekly question mailing list or to suggest questions of your own and feel free to add your perspective in the comments section below.

As an expat, I feel China could offer my child a different and unique wealth of knowledge about China civilization developed over thousands of years. Learning the culture of various periods and dynasties in human history, arts, science, medicine, agriculture and technical development is vast and profound only in China. Western cultural foundations have been largely established upon wars, world domination and colonialism, whereas China wars were for uniting one nation based on intercultural philosophy. The misunderstanding of China and its culture would be learned from a true perspective from western ignorance and bias accusations.

I have Chinese and foreign friends raising children here and I think it’s great. The kids learn another language, one that’s near impossible to learn later in life, and get to experience another culture which I think is very important and useful! I don’t know if I would want my children to have Chinese citizenship but I would support raising them here.
L / UK

China: unsafe milk powder, pollution, problems with education. America: unsafe toys from China, guns, problems with schools. I think the solution is clearly to move to Europe, marry a European and raise our kids there.
D / US

Somewhere there is a healthcare plan and good schooling that teaches morals. Not here!

My children will grow up in China. Other country’s may be rich and have elite universities but my family are in China and I feel the family environment is very important for them.
P / China

When Zooey Deschanel and I have our kids, we'll definitely raise them abroad because China’s schools really don’t prepare their students properly. Preferably we'll raise our children in America because I want them to be as fat as humanly possible. Like those kids from Heavyweights. They'll have good senses of humor though. My children will be hilarious and obese.
J / US

I would like to have a family abroad because of education and safety but I worry that my kids wouldn’t feel at home in any society. Opportunities are important but if your psychology is not settled they are no good.
X / China

I think there are a lot of benefits to expats raising a child in China, especially if they plan to return to their home country at some point. I think raising a child to understand and in some way experience two different cultures results in a more culturally sensitive child. The child would better be able to appreciate the positives and negatives of both cultures. China has a system of respect for elders and culture that America lacks; America has a system of free information and individual achievement that China lacks. China tends to look out for everyone, whereas America tends to look out for Number 1, as it were. On the other hand, China tracks people into career paths, whereas America allows freedom of career choice, not just at the beginning, but throughout one's life. All of the benefits and drawbacks to both cultures act as more information with which to enrich a child's life and teach her/him about thinking critically when appraising cultures.
K / US

Definitely not in China. There have been too many cases of deadly products for children. One reason they continue is because little is done to punish the wrongdoers. I don’t feel that a place where companies get away with harming and, in extreme cases, killing children is a good place for me to raise a family. I have been dismayed with response to the scandals, one or two people get punished, investigations and victims seem to get pushed out of the limelight and it happens again.
D / UK

Related Links
I Want To Raise My Family in China – Am I Crazy?
Foreign Baby Has It Pretty Good
You’re Having Him Where? Giving Birth in Kunming

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Education is abysmal, and I plan to emigrate with my son before he's 5 years old, before learn-by-rote gets too deeply entrenched. I wouldn't have chosen China at first, but I was forced here by immigration procedure delays in the Netherlands. Still, making a salary is easier in China, taxes are lower, and we live in a 4-room roof-terraced house that I couldn't possibly afford back in Holland, with all the products we need available online. There are many health and safety problems, and struggles with pride, culture and habits, but life in China is not without merits. To be honest, I believe my wife would feel isolated in Europe, and life very limited by our income there.

Nov 22, 2013 01:31 Report Abuse



Yes, for all the faults of China, perhaps we foreigners don't acknowledge that many Chinese streets are safe to walk at night. Safer than in the west at least. No small achievement.

Nov 22, 2013 01:34 Report Abuse