Children of Jiwa parents: what’s behind the upbringing?

Early intervention
Questionable parenting method: what “Jiwa parents” ask of their children

Jiwa parents are almost obsessed with getting their children right, especially when it comes to educational issues

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With the hope of pushing their offspring – better education equals better life – “Jiwa parents” lose themselves in a competition that quickly becomes a health burden. China is now trying to put an end to the debacle with bans.

From Eva Keller

This text first appeared at this point

“Jiwa Parenting”, also known colloquially as “Chicken Parenting”, describes a culture of upbringing that is mainly practiced in China, in which parents obsessively interfere in their children’s lives in order to get as much potential out of them as possible. In the past, the name Jiwa was used for a form of therapy in which children were injected with chicken blood to encourage them to learn. This form of therapy is now prohibited. The incentives have remained. Jiwa parents are almost obsessed with getting their children right, especially when it comes to educational issues. Even toddlers are enrolled in MBA preparation courses here.

Jiwa Parents: Where Does This Pressure Come From?

The children often don’t go to bed before midnight. Between school, private tutoring, music lessons and much more, there is no more time to just be a child. The pressure that rests on the shoulders of the children as well as those of the parents is great. Breaking out is difficult because the competition in the pursuit of education and the associated hope for a fulfilled life is relentless. A competition that in the long run can damage the health of the children and drive families into financial difficulties. On average, Jiwa parents spend 25 to 50 percent of their income on supplementary education, mostly on private after-school tutoring, which has become a multi-billion dollar business in China.

What role does the state play?

The Communist Party, which rules in China, has been trying to break this cycle for some time. The goal: The birth rate should rise again. However, this is only possible if parents no longer see the need to invest their savings in the education of their children. Jiwa parents can hardly afford more than one child, otherwise they would probably ruin the expenses. The state is trying to remedy the situation through various measures, such as banning homework, restricting online tutoring and creating training places. However, it remains questionable whether the restrictions are helpful. Because as long as there is competition, parents fear that their children might miss the boat.

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