A mother displays her "parenting license." [Photo: Qianjiang Evening News]
We must acquire a license to become a driver, a lawyer or a doctor, but should we pass certain exams to become parents? The result of a parents' test conducted by a kindergarten in Zhejiang Province shows that the answer is 'yes.'
"Parenting is probably the hardest job in the world. You never know which of your minor deeds will affect your children in their future lives," Cheng Yanqing, head of the kindergarten, says.
In early June, parents of the kindergartners sat the parenting exam. Twenty percent failed the trial, according to the Zhejiang-based Qianjiang Evening News.
No one is born with the techniques to be a successful parent, so you have to learn, Cheng says. "This is the message we want to send to parents through the exam."
The exam tests parents' knowledge on raising and educating children. It includes questions like "How many hours of sleep do children need at different ages?" "Which foods contain nutrients that children need for their growth?" and "How does one deal with a child's rebellious behavior?"
"The test rang the alarm for me, so I have to study more scientific ways of educating my child," Zhu Songjun, the mother of a senior student in the kindergarten, says.
The kindergarten presented parents who passed the exam with a framed license, and plans to hold the exam regularly to refresh the parents' skills.
Parenting licenses are nothing new in China, or even worldwide. Reports say that Austria is planning to give qualified couples government-issued parenting licenses. Licensed parents will enjoy preferential policies. For instance, the licensed parent can get custody of the child if the couple files for a divorce.
Many Chinese cities, such as Xiamen, Chengdu, and Nanning have also tried to give out certificates in recognition of successful parents.
(CRI June 23, 2008)