Shaanxi Daily: China’s First “Parenting Trainers” Will Be Born in Shangluo

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A new "parenting trainer" works with a mother and child during a weekly household visit.

The Shaanxi Daily issued a press release on REAP's ongoing Perfecting Parenting project.  This article was translated and reprinted with permission from The Shaanxi Daily.  Read the original article (in Chinese) here.

 

China’s First “Parenting Trainers” Will Be Born in Shangluo

March 19, 2015
 
Shaanxi Media Online
Commentary

In Shangluo, tucked away in the distant parts of the Qinling mountain range, 70 officials have already undertaken the assignment of “early child development parenting trainers.”

Yaojiang Shi, Director of the Center for Experimental Economics in Education at Shaanxi Normal University, was brimming with confidence as he received journalists, saying, “before long, they will pass the evaluations and become China’s first generation of parenting trainers.”

According to statistics, in 2013, 40 percent of 6- to 12-month-old children living in rural areas in Shaanxi province clearly lagged behind in cognitive ability and social-emotional development. Parents are only concerned that their children have enough to eat and warm clothes to wear, neglecting their mental health and development. Scientific research has proven that the first three years of a child’s life is a critical period for mental development. However, in China’s vast rural areas, there is still a blank space in place of education for 0- to 3-year-old children. In order to change this situation, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, Shaanxi Normal University, Stanford University in the United States, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly established the “Perfecting Parenting” project. Following this project’s officially launch last November, 70 “parenting trainers” were recruited from among the family planning officials in 58 townships across Danfeng, Shangnan, Shanyang, and Zhenan counties, and 275 babies were randomly selected to take part in the project. After undergoing rigorous training, the “parenting trainers” will teach scientific child-rearing knowledge to children’s parents and caretakers through demonstration and guidance. By having parents interact more with their children through story telling, singing songs with them, playing games, and engaging in other parent-child activities, they aim to improve the babies’ cognitive abilities, motor development, and social-emotional development.