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Author Topic: A few questions for parents in China...  (Read 7964 times)

Arnold J. Rimmer

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A few questions for parents in China...
« on: March 24, 2012, 02:39:04 PM »
I have a few questions for the learned parents residing on RCS  uuuuuuuuuu Hopefully any answers that I get will also be useful to the other guys on here that are expecting babies too... psd4fan and opiate.

1) Did you buy an after birth insurance plan before the baby came? If so, how much was it and which company did you use?

2) Do you use nappies (diapers) for your little one? Obviously Chinese parents favour the good old split pants/ shit anywhere approach, but I'd feel a lot more comfortable using nappies. Thing is, I have heard they are really expensive here  mmmmmmmmmm

3) How have you approached the learning two languages thing? Do you always speak English around Junior? or, only English at home and Chinese outside?

Would really appreciate your help guys  bfbfbfbfbf

The Local Dialect

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2012, 02:55:52 PM »
I'll try and answer your questions ...

1) Nope.

2) Yes, we used mostly Pampers but sometimes Huggies or the Mami-Poko brands as well. They're expensive-ish, I guess, but not really that expensive? Amazon.cn sells them online and has some pretty good deals sometimes. My 2 year old is still in diapers and my 4 year old potty trained at about 3. We did it the Western way, I refuse to put my kids in split pants and my kids do not own even a single pair.

3) I actually wrote an article about this recently. I was not a very good at one-parent-one-language. People will tell you this is the way to go but if your spouse doesn't speak English it is actually quite difficult to keep up. My kid's English is improving a lot right now but that's mostly because he's in an English medium class at school and he also has his English speaking grandparents living here so he's not counting only on me for his English. If your wife speaks English then doing Minority Language at Home is a better method I think, since the child is getting more English exposure overall. If you plan on having more than one kid you can make English your family language. The drawback is that if you ever return to your home country then your child won't be getting Chinese outside the home so you'll have to switch up your approach. But really there's no one right way, you'll figure out the approach to bilingualism that works best for your family.

Arnold J. Rimmer

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 07:23:36 AM »
Thanks a lot Local Dialect... some great answers!  bfbfbfbfbf

My other half speaks English almost fluently, so I guess we could make the home an English zone. Only problem is that my Chinese sucks... so would I confuse the poor kid if we're out of the house?  mmmmmmmmmm

Also, I wondered what kind of comments have you heard from Chinese people about your kids when you're out and about? I would imagine it's overwhelmingly positive, but a few snide remarks come out every now and then. Is that the case?

The Local Dialect

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 08:11:24 AM »
AJR, even if your home is an English only zone, you can still keep using English with your child outside the house.

What might happen at some point is that your child will understand you in English but respond in Chinese when outside the house. Sometimes kids feel ebarrassed to be seen or heard speaking a foreign language when they're in their Chinese environment. You might also find that your kid will designate certain places/people as being Chinese and others as being English.

As for comments from others, I don't think I've actually ever heard a snide remark about the kids themselves, but certainly about us as parents. You know Chinese people, especially older women, can be overbearing about childrearing advice even with fellow Chinese people, but when you're a foreigner you're sure to get an earful about how little/much your child is wearing or what he's eating or how he's getting confused with two languages.

The comments that the kids themselves get are never ill intentioned they are just sometimes ignorant. People ask my kids where they come from, call them  little laowai, and really fuss over their ability to speak Chinese. My son hates all of this, and though people are saying it endearingly, still, he was born here, he doesn't think of himself as a foreigner. His Chinese language ability is far from impressive considering it is his native language and he's almost 4 and a half. People just don't think and so they say stupid things and you have to teach your kids to handle it. You and your wife will probably be much more sensitive on your kids' behalves than they are themselves at first, but once they start getting old enough to understand, you have to start having talks with them about these issues. 

Nolefan

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 08:37:50 AM »
Not that I have much input on this topic, but i will suggest beijing-kids.com as another place to ask these questions for even more feedback.
alors régressons fatalement, eternellement. Des débutants, avec la peur comme exutoire à l'ignorance et Alzheimer en prof d'histoire de nos enfances!
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 10:18:40 AM »
As horrifying as the possibility is, this is a good one to ask your in-laws. aoaoaoaoao

Think about it.  Many areas of China are inherently bilingual (if not multilingual) - hometown language and Mandarin (and sometimes another language or two).  My wife and my best friend both speak 4 languages well.  China probably has more hands-on experience with bilingual education than the US and Europe combined.
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Arnold J. Rimmer

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 12:23:31 PM »
AJR, even if your home is an English only zone, you can still keep using English with your child outside the house.

What might happen at some point is that your child will understand you in English but respond in Chinese when outside the house. Sometimes kids feel ebarrassed to be seen or heard speaking a foreign language when they're in their Chinese environment. You might also find that your kid will designate certain places/people as being Chinese and others as being English.

As for comments from others, I don't think I've actually ever heard a snide remark about the kids themselves, but certainly about us as parents. You know Chinese people, especially older women, can be overbearing about childrearing advice even with fellow Chinese people, but when you're a foreigner you're sure to get an earful about how little/much your child is wearing or what he's eating or how he's getting confused with two languages.

The comments that the kids themselves get are never ill intentioned they are just sometimes ignorant. People ask my kids where they come from, call them  little laowai, and really fuss over their ability to speak Chinese. My son hates all of this, and though people are saying it endearingly, still, he was born here, he doesn't think of himself as a foreigner. His Chinese language ability is far from impressive considering it is his native language and he's almost 4 and a half. People just don't think and so they say stupid things and you have to teach your kids to handle it. You and your wife will probably be much more sensitive on your kids' behalves than they are themselves at first, but once they start getting old enough to understand, you have to start having talks with them about these issues. 

Really invaluable advice. Thanks a lot!

Why do you think your son's Chinese is not as good as expected? Because he hasn't been to school yet?  mmmmmmmmmm

Arnold J. Rimmer

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 12:24:48 PM »
As horrifying as the possibility is, this is a good one to ask your in-laws. aoaoaoaoao

Think about it.  Many areas of China are inherently bilingual (if not multilingual) - hometown language and Mandarin (and sometimes another language or two).  My wife and my best friend both speak 4 languages well.  China probably has more hands-on experience with bilingual education than the US and Europe combined.


An excellent point.

In my case though, the in-laws only speak the purest putonghua  ahahahahah

The Local Dialect

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 01:16:20 PM »
AJR, even if your home is an English only zone, you can still keep using English with your child outside the house.

What might happen at some point is that your child will understand you in English but respond in Chinese when outside the house. Sometimes kids feel ebarrassed to be seen or heard speaking a foreign language when they're in their Chinese environment. You might also find that your kid will designate certain places/people as being Chinese and others as being English.

As for comments from others, I don't think I've actually ever heard a snide remark about the kids themselves, but certainly about us as parents. You know Chinese people, especially older women, can be overbearing about childrearing advice even with fellow Chinese people, but when you're a foreigner you're sure to get an earful about how little/much your child is wearing or what he's eating or how he's getting confused with two languages.

The comments that the kids themselves get are never ill intentioned they are just sometimes ignorant. People ask my kids where they come from, call them  little laowai, and really fuss over their ability to speak Chinese. My son hates all of this, and though people are saying it endearingly, still, he was born here, he doesn't think of himself as a foreigner. His Chinese language ability is far from impressive considering it is his native language and he's almost 4 and a half. People just don't think and so they say stupid things and you have to teach your kids to handle it. You and your wife will probably be much more sensitive on your kids' behalves than they are themselves at first, but once they start getting old enough to understand, you have to start having talks with them about these issues. 

Really invaluable advice. Thanks a lot!

Why do you think your son's Chinese is not as good as expected? Because he hasn't been to school yet?  mmmmmmmmmm

No no, it is as good as expected. I see how what I wrote was kind of unclear. What I mean is, for any kid who was born here and has at least one native speaking parent, speaking perfect Chinese is not some impressive megaskill. I would be worried if he didn't speak good Chinese considering it is his native language, and I don't consider the ability to speak one's own native language "impressive." The only reason they comment on his Chinese being so amazing is because he looks white. If he looked 100% Chinese no one would be saying wow, your kid speaks awesome Chinese. Due to his looks, they expect him to be fluent in English and suck at Chinese, when in fact English is his weaker language by far. That his Chinese is stronger than his English should be a given (considering we actually live here and he has a bajillion people to learn Chinese from, whereas English? It is just me and my parents, his grandparents, who also live here), but it isn't for most people because they just don't use their brains and think.

Fozzwaldus

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 09:27:17 AM »
It's pretty interesting stuff. When we raise our kids I'm planning that we'll use three languages (English, Chinese, Spanish) in the home, and then will also send them to Hebrew school once they're old enough. I'd like them to have four or five languages (three modern, two classical) by the time they go to uni.

seriously? how are you going to run that household? what's the other classical language?
两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
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Fozzwaldus

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 10:18:43 AM »
Why not throw Gaelic in the mix too? and perhaps an obscure Chinese dialect? Make it Wenzhou-hua if you want your kids to get on in life.  bfbfbfbfbf

Yep. Your kids are going to be virgins in grad-school, but on the plus side they will be able to communicate with all sorts of interesting people on World of Warcraft.  ahahahahah ahahahahah
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Stil

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 10:40:29 AM »
English, Mandarin, Arabic

Your kids could buy drugs and explosives pretty much everywhere.

Paul

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2012, 11:05:11 AM »
1 No
2 Yes.  Pampers or equivalent.  Nappy-less for a day or so if it's very hot or baby looks a bit sore.
3 As it comes - no plan, just what happens naturally.

psd4fan

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2012, 01:43:41 PM »
I have a few questions for the learned parents residing on RCS  uuuuuuuuuu Hopefully any answers that I get will also be useful to the other guys on here that are expecting babies too... psd4fan and opiate.

1) Did you buy an after birth insurance plan before the baby came? If so, how much was it and which company did you use?

2) Do you use nappies (diapers) for your little one? Obviously Chinese parents favour the good old split pants/ shit anywhere approach, but I'd feel a lot more comfortable using nappies. Thing is, I have heard they are really expensive here  mmmmmmmmmm

3) How have you approached the learning two languages thing? Do you always speak English around Junior? or, only English at home and Chinese outside?

Would really appreciate your help guys  bfbfbfbfbf
1. Not yet but possibly. 2. At night and when out but cloth otherwise. Split pants only if I can have a pair too.  aoaoaoaoao 3. Wifey will speak Chinese and I will speak English.

Arnold J. Rimmer

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2012, 08:03:32 AM »
3. Wifey will speak Chinese and I will speak English.

The only thing I wonder about this approach is what about when you and your wife speak to each other in front of the baby?