Social anxiety and childhood traumas are driving a boom in parenting classes

When Zhang Huimin attended her first “parenting class,” a free teaser organized by her son’s kindergarten, she didn’t think she’d learn much. But 10,000 yuan and eight months later, Zhang is full of pride at the results.

“When I came back from my second class, my child said, ‘Mom, how did you become so good?’” the 33-year-old brags to TWOC.

The mother of the philosopher Mencius, an exemplar of virtuous parenting from China’s history, famously moved house three times to provide her son with the best learning environment. Today’s parents though, can sign up for “family education” classes, also known as “professional parenting” courses, to correct their children’s study habits, improve their psychological health, and even cure their internet addiction (according to one family education company).

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author Sam Davies

Sam Davies is the deputy managing editor at The World of Chinese. He writes mainly about society, sport, and culture, with his pieces touching on diverse topics from the future of China’s ski industry to efforts to prevent juvenile crime.

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