, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 37-38

The role of children in China: A perspective

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There has been particular interest in Chinese child rearing practices since the Open Door Policy was established in 1975. The Chinese government's “one child family” policy has increased this interest. Indeed, speculation on the results of this policy has occurred in China as well, as reflected in an article inChina Daily, Friday, August 21, 1987, which asks, “Are We Spoiling Our Children?” Concerns raised in this article include children becoming undisciplined, self-centered, and even overweight. Another article in this newspaper discusses the necessity of allowing individuals with handicaps to enter colleges, hold jobs, and enjoy equal opportunity. Cohen and Rae (1987), in discussing educational considerations, state that Chinese parents dislike their children engaging in fingerpainting and playing in mud puddles. I did not encounter these parental characteristics, so I want to share my experiences regarding Chinese customs toward children and individuals with special needs.

Ellen Browning is an Associate Professor at Edgewood College in Madison, WI.
Photo above: The Great Wall symbolizes the spirit, patience, and industry of the Chinese culture. These qualities are reflected in their love for children, and will be reflected in services to children with disabilities.