A survey of over 400 parents with 3-year-old children, conducted by the Shanghai Women’s Federation and Association of Parenthood Education, indicates that mothers who have higher education are stricter with their children. They rarely encourage their children who live under more tension. The opinion of these mothers is "strictness and sternness" to shape their children’s minds rather one of "let it be."
Experts from the Education Center of Parenthood said that first of all Chinese parents believe "blue comes from the indigo plant but is bluer than the plant itself." [The hope is for children to exceed their parents.] Highly-educated mothers often compare their children to themselves and consequently have higher demands on their children.
For instance, a 32-year-old mother is a deputy general manager of an enterprise who graduated from Fudan University. However, she is not satisfied with her conditions. Although extremely busy on work, she is very strict with her 5-year-old daughter who began to learn English at age 2 and has just started her second foreign language study.
Secondly, highly-educated mothers are more professional and many are in management departments. So they spend more time at work than mothers with less education, and have higher incomes. For many reasons, they take more chances to employ others to take care of their children, thus giving less of their time to their children, which distances themselves from their children.
Comparatively, less-educated mothers give more tolerance and encouragement to their children. The survey shows that mothers who have only a junior high school education are tolerant towards their children’s mistakes, and prefer suggestion and encouragement to educate their children. But those who have university or higher educations are stricter, even mean.
(新闻晚报 [Shanghai Evening Post], translated by Li Liangdu for china.org.cn, May 8, 2002)