Children’s Right to Self-Ownership: Space, Privacy, and Punishment
“When we were parents, children usually wanted what you wanted,” one Shanghai grandmother told me after an afternoon dance class at a local pensioners’ club. To vigorous nods of approval from her classmates, some of whom were still busy collecting their breaths after dancing across the room for the last hour or so, she continued to describe the differences between contemporary and Maoist-era ideas of childrearing and education. “Back then [i.e., in the 1960s and 1970s], children were more disciplined and agreed with you on everything… But these days, kids are smarter. They have a broader awareness… [They] know that adults can’t go through their drawers or look in their schoolbags without permission.”
KeywordsCorporal Punishment Chinese Child Personal Space Physical Punishment Chinese Parent
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