The brand new fashionable parenting time period in China is ‘jiwa’ – or ‘rooster blood’ parenting
- “Tiger Mom” was the term used to describe Chinese mothers for the past several decades.
- Now the trend is “jiwa,” a style where parents make their children work hard to get the best grades.
When my family first moved to the United States from China, my mother threw me into dance, gymnastics, and piano classes. I didn’t grow up spending free time to play with my friends after school. My mother was what we would call a “tiger mom” today, an overly controlling mother who doesn’t give her children much freedom.
As first-generation Chinese immigrant children continued to be admitted to top universities, the term became a badge of honor.
Gone are the days when ambitious Chinese parents were lumped together as “tiger mothers”.
Today, China’s animal-based, ambitious parenting jargon includes “baby chickens”, or children with many extracurricular classes and educations (that is, they have been injected with “chicken blood” – referring to an unproven and now forbidden decades-old practice). “Baby frogs” refers to children with no notable talent or children who maintain average grades even after a period of “injection”. “Baby cows” are children with good grades and perfect competitive performance.
Some Chinese parents want “baby cows” who are naturally gifted and diligently study. Those who are not “baby cows” are usually classified as “baby chickens” or jiwa – children who are not necessarily natural but work extra hard, either alone or because their parents make them.
Some Chinese parents are interested in “chicken blood” upbringing
I spoke to parents in Beijing’s Haidian District, home to some of the best universities and technology companies in China and known for being a center of self-sacrificing and education-minded parents. When an educational trend hits China, it stops at Haidian.
Haidian is home to some of the most expensive apartments in Beijing’s school district, and the mothers there were the ones who got the trending term “Jiwa” on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
Haidian student Julia Wang, who refused to reveal the name of her school for privacy reasons, told Insider that she learned the C ++ and Python programming languages in high school and was considered advanced, but preschoolers are already in Haidian Learn to program with iPads. Many of these pre-school Haidian children, who essentially grew up in China’s Silicon Valley, are given a head start in the world of technology as early as possible.
Haidian mother Lily Zhao, who has an 8-year-old named Alice Xi, told Insider, “There is absolutely no shame in injecting chicken blood into our children,” which means that children are put in and pushed into extracurricular after-school and tutoring classes will get good grades in school.
While there are international and private schools across the city, most Haidian parents, like Zhao, still choose to send their children to local public schools. If Chinese children want to attend a top Chinese university, they must attend a local school as the curriculum is designed to allow them to take the gaokao (China’s national university entrance examination) while in international schools they prepare children for the SATs and other international exams.
These public schools are notoriously difficult to come by because they are known for producing extremely high Gaokao children who attend China’s elite universities.
It’s about the future of children
Alice Xi is already a phenomenal Jiwa, according to her mother, even though she is barely in elementary school. “We allowed her to explore her interests when she was young, but now that she is in school, every activity she participates in has to consider something that will help her future,” Zhao said.
Jiwa education is not just about what other parents are doing. It’s also about calculating the educational pathways that will help a child stand out in the future, such as computer programming, writing competitions, and “exotic” sports like horse riding.
16-year-old Olivia Li attends one of the most prestigious private schools in Haidian and has grown up her entire life in a self-described Jiwa lifestyle with tutoring and a variety of academically focused extracurricular activities. She doesn’t have the best grades in her class, but she has an excellent GPA, she told Insider.
Outside of her normal school hours, she volunteers at a local support center, runs awareness campaigns in her school, takes part in internships and takes part in design and art competitions.
“I’m the product of Jiwa upbringing, so I think that makes me a full-blown chicken,” Li told Insider.
In August, China banned after-school tutoring to improve the playing field for students.
Many after-school activities no longer accept tuition from students because they are unsure whether they can continue to provide services.
Others have removed the words “curriculum” and “students” to comply with the ban while continuing to do business. Some have chosen to teach parents instead of children so that those parents can teach their own children. Some wealthy families even hire tutors disguised as nannies.
The ban on tuition throws the jiwas day-to-day schedules, but as tutoring centers and parents adapt to the new regulations, it is becoming clear that parents will do whatever it takes to ensure that their children are ahead of the game, e.g. B. Form small groups of children for private tutors to teach, as reported by CNBC.