Bill Dodson

Raising children in China has been cause for concern, because of tough parental and educational traditions, making kids’ lives to a hell, especially when you are not outstanding. But China watcher and father Bill Dodson sees – here on his weblog – also some positieve trends.

Bill Dodson

Mimi’s ten year old son is – how to put it delicately – average. Of course, to his mother, he’s precious; but to his teachers at school his scores are abysmally second-rate – and therefore he is second-rate, too. Mimi is a very mature and dignified manager of a foreign firm with offices in China. She is in her mid-thirties. Mimi sees her ten year old son suffering within an education system that emphasizes rote learning and endless memorization over creativity and initiative.

Her son developed a low opinion of himself, as a result. Mimi explained to me, “Chinese people at an individual level do not really know what they want. Their entire lives they are told what to think, what to say, what to desire.” Last year, though, Mimi decided to get to the bottom of herself., of her own values and desires.

For several months Mimi has been attending an evening program led by a Chinese woman that helps parents re-evaluate their lives, learn what’s really important to them, and basically realize there’s more to their lives than meeting the expectations of others. About sixty adults participate in the program, she told me. During the late winter last year she took her son to a camp on the island of Hainan where mother and son could get to know each other better and he could explore parts of his personality and expression he never knew he had.

More on Bill Dodson’s weblog.

Bill Dodson is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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