The anti-grandparent sentiment here seems weird to me. Like, these people managed to successfully raise you or the person you chose to marry, but they just can't be trusted to look after their own grandkids?
Having grandparents handle childcare is actually one of the things I admire about China. As opposed to America where we seem to think it's normal to leave very young children in the care of strangers, I repeat: strangers. And to pay through the nose for that privilege. Rather than having them cared for by their parents' own parents, for free.
Some exposure to spitting and littering is fine, same with smoking as long as its outdoors -- maybe it will help keep the kids grounded and avoid them becoming effete twits.
I agree totally with your sentiment.
It's different in parts of Canada though, where parents not only leave children with strangers, but expect the government (read taxpayers) to pay for it.
@herenow: "these people managed to successfully raise you or the person you chose to marry, but they just can't be trusted to look after their own grandkids"
I believe this is a side-effect of fast development and constant reforms.
In western countries, that perhaps could be considered more stable or "ready" in that perspective, there is not that much difference between worlds past and present, that you upbring children into.
In China, I think, that is not the case, and some parents acknowlege it.
For those (many I agree) that do let grandparents take care of kids, don't forget that it is also about the young family taking care of the grandparents.
Elsewhere it is even more common to let strangers take care of the elderly.
Agreed that there is a great difference between worlds past and present. All the more reason for the kiddos to have some experience via their grandparents with the world of the past -- i.e., with their own cultural heritage, both in its virtues and its shortcomings. They will get plenty of exposure to the world of the present through their parents, teachers, peers, media/technology and society at large. So a multicultural upbringing, if you will.
And yes, the family looking after the grandparents completes the ingenious circle of the Chinese approach. Instead of old people literally bankrupting themselves to pay for the chance to rot away in nursing homes where there is a high risk of abuse by (again) strangers, they are instead cared for by their own children, and the family nest egg remains intact.
@herenow: "They will get plenty of exposure to the world of the present through their parents, teachers, peers"
I see your point, but I disagree.
I think that much of what is wrong in China, from little people's family affairs to corruption among bigger ones, ultimately derives from blindly acknowledging habits of past generations (that perhaps once had a place in this society) and keeping it going.
Filial piety has a place in Chinese society and should have elsewhere too, but it having a place also means that it can be misplaced.
@JanJal: "I think that much of what is wrong in China... ultimately derives from blindly acknowledging habits of past generations... and keeping it going."
I both agree and disagree in some part, but that is a question that extends well beyond the domain of child-rearing and could be debated endlessly. So maybe this is a good place to leave things.
We can agree to disagree, but I have more to say (not with you specifically, if you choose to leave).
Consider that not many generations ago, China was in a mess that destroyed the whole education system and a generation of people lost their education opportunities with it.
Against this background it shouldn't be a wonder if Chinese value formal education differently than westerners.
Chinese kids of today might benefit from more leisure time during their summer holidays, but in this they are at mercy of older generations, who took China up from that educational ground zero, and they keep preaching this as virtue.
It is same as in places that have recovered from famine - the culture of not wasting food remains strong long after.
In this it is the same filial piety that directs children to accept their place, and not spend their summers playing or freely socializing as much as their western counterparts - instead they keep (over?)compensating for educational mistakes of past generations.
It's questionable, if foreigners on one hand blame the Chinese society for this, while on other hand praise it basically for the same thing.
How is all this reflected in educational requirements for foreign English teachers?
It isn't Ishmael. This is a space where cliches compete. Ad infinitum.