Planet China

Parental advice

China is a country with a long history of Confucian thinking, so it is usually frowned upon for children to criticise their parents. So the activities of 10 year-old Junjun has prompted much discussion, according to Qianjiang Evening News. The boy from Hangzhou was not impressed by aspects of his mother and father’s parenting techniques, so on July 19 he contacted an ‘education expert’. In order to be taken seriously he pretended to be his mother and imitated her tone in a WeChat conversation (he text messaged the expert). He later sent screenshots of the conversation to his mother. The three-hour session saw Junjun bring up the topic of how much pressure his parents put him under, for instance, having him do homework till 10pm each night. The expert responded that this meant the child is “learning inefficiently”, to which Junjun responded: “To be honest, he is doing okay, but his Chinese is poor. Other children can finish at 9.30pm, but his barrier is his Chinese composition”. The Qianjiang Evening News later consulted an array of education specialists, with one teacher saying the dialogue showed how smart Junjun actually was. Netizens also responded positively with one noting “Wow, I often wanted to tell my parents how to educate their child.” Junjun’s parents – possibly not so keen on the spotlight – told the newspaper that the feedback wasn’t unreasonable, although things are not as “one-sided” as their child portrayed.

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