China considers punishing parents for children’s bad behavior

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Parents in China could soon find themselves in a timeout for their misbehaving kids under a proposed law that will also force them to teach youngsters to “love the party, nation, people and socialism,” according to reports.

China’s parliament is expected this week to consider a draft of the Family Education Promotion Law, which, if passed, would punish parents by ordering them to partake in family education guidance programs if prosecutors identify children under their care as criminal or otherwise problematic, Reuters reported Monday.

A draft version of the proposed law, which will be debated by the National People’s Congress during its standing committee session, also encourages parents to set aside time for kids to rest up and exercise.

“There are many reasons for adolescents to misbehave, and the lack of inappropriate family education is the major cause,” said Zang Tiewei, spokesman of the Legislative Affairs Commission for the NPC.

The bill would also require parents or guardians in China to teach their children to “love the party, nation, people and socialism,” The Independent reported.

Schoolchildren play near the Drum Tower in a traditional neighbourhood on September 30, 2021 in Beijing, China.
The law would force parents to teach children to “love the party, nation, people and socialism.”
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

They’re also expected to instill children with a sense to “respect the elderly and care for the young,” according to a draft version of the bill, which is the latest attempt by China to address how its young citizens behave at home, according to Reuters.

The country’s Ministry of Education has recently chimed in on how many hours children should play video games, banning minors in August from online games during school days and capping weekend play at just three hours.

China’s state-controlled media denounced online gaming at the time as “spiritual opium” that threatened an entire generation.

Grade 6 students have snacks in celebration of Children's Day at Fengtai No 1 Primary School on June 1, 2020 in Beijing, China.
China’s Ministry of Education has chimed in on how many hours children should play video games.
Fu Tian/China News Service via Getty Images

Education officials also cut back on homework assignments for China’s students and banned after-school tutoring in major subjects on weekends and holidays, citing the toll on overwhelmed students, Reuters reported.

The education ministry had also urged young Chinese men to be less “feminine” in December while promoting sports like soccer instead of “blind” worship of internet celebrities.

The Family Education Promotion Law bars parents from using “violence” to get their young ones to fall in line, but urges them to be “thrifty and frugal” while instilling a “positive character” in children in their care, The Independent reported.

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