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The Right Way of Family Education

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"Children are the expectation of their parents and the hope of a nation. Family education is not only an important component of education but also the first lesson to a child, which will be remembered forever." (Zhao Zhongxin, P1, 1991) Family education has a direct influence on the qualities of talents. In the 21st century, international competition is becoming fiercer. And it is a competition for talents fundamentally. Thus, each country should pay more attention to family education in the education projects. The issue has been becoming a hot topic in our country, and it aroused great concern of our government and all walks of society, in particular the education sector. However, many people think that schools and universities have the main responsibility for these problems which appeared in education in recent years. Schools and universities are to be blamed, but their parents are more to be blamed. "If the love of the good, the beauty and the truth had been implanted properly in their mind in early years, if they had been trained to use their minds at the very beginning, they would not live so foolishly." (Karl Weter. P5, 2002) In order to find a better way to educate our children, we should study other countries' experiences. There are many types of family education in the world, and American family education is the most famous one. So it is necessary and significant to make a comparison of the differences of family education between America and China. This paper is to comparing Chinese family education and American family education superficially, which may offer some lessons to family education.

So, let we start from two different Conceptions of Family Education.

In America, parents' aims are to train their children to have the ability of adapting to environmental variety and the ability of living independently. Based on this concept, most American parents emphasize more to train their children's ability of independence once they are born. They generally believe that children's growth must rely on their own experiences, because they think that children should form a self-supporting will and the capacity to live independently since their childhood. Besides, from their own experience children can learn how to overcome difficulties, temper their willpower, develop their talents and skills, rich their knowledge, and form a habit of hard work and thrifty by working in hard conditions. It is just in the unconsciously process that children will obtain the independent survivability and take the responsibilities for the society.

Compared with American, Chinese parents have a very different concept of children's education. Some parents in China only care about whether the children have a promising future, a good job, a good life or not. Based on these expectations, the majority of parents feel that their responsibility for their children is to create as good conditions as possible they can so that the children will not worry about anything in the future. In short, they would like to sacrifice anything if their children can live better with their help. Therefore, in the process of children's growth, the most important thing the parents concerning is to developing their children's intellect, except for caring children's daily life. As for the children's independence, civic awareness and their ability adapting to the society in the future, they consider little or not at all. From these aspects we can find the obvious differences of family education between America and China.

As we see that this two kind of family education are really different, and we will analysis from four aspects that how different between Chinese and American's family education.

1. The Cultivation of Children's Independence.

First and foremost, Chinese family education and American family education vary in the attitude towards independence. Most American parents think that the child is an independent individual since he is born, who has his own willing and characteristic. Neither the parents nor teachers have priorities to determine and restrict their children's behaviors. The Declaration of Independence says: "All the people are born equally; they are endowed with holy rights including life, freedom and pursuit of happiness."( Huang Shaoxiang´╝îP12, 1979) In order to let the children recognize that they are the masters of themselves, American parents will give their children enough freedom and will not make decisions for them in most cases. In order to cultivate the children's ability to enjoy independent life, American parents take the measures as follows. Firstly, they try to give them enough opportunities and conditions which allow them to be fully trained in various settings since they were born. The common way the parents used is to let the children do some self-service work according to children's ability in different ages, because this method will develop their children's love of working and talents. So, we can see the following example, in a cold winter morning, the American children get up to deliver newspapers while our children are still sleeping in the warm blanket. Many Chinese parents probably think that it is unacceptable, or even think that is "cruel" to children.

Compared with American parents, Chinese parents hold a very different attitude toward children's independence. In China, most parents require their children to be obedient to them. On one hand, most of Chinese people hold the idea that there should always be a law in a certain community. That is the reason why almost every Chinese family has its law both as an illustration and an evidence of the education of children. The law might be either formally written down on papers or announced orally. The law will be used to give instructions to the children who have done something wrong. Apparently, this is very helpful for children, but in fact, it is unfavorable to cultivate children's ability of living independence. Because there are so many restricts in their lives that they have no chances to learn from the daily life. On the other hand, because of the influence of traditional culture, one should respect his parents absolutely in most cases. So, many parents do not concern their kids' feeling, because they think that what they do for their children is just their children's needs. It is well known that in the later of last century, for the sake of sustainable and harmonious development, our country has carried out the one child policy as family planning, for this reason there's an increasing number of families with one child, and Chinese children, since long ago, have been considered as the apple in their parents' eyes. Based on the above reasons, parents tend to over-indulge their



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