Saturday, September 16, 2006

Interesting Article

To give children an edge, people are hiring Au Pairs from China. Here is a quote from the
  • New York Times Article

  • "Their services are in great demand, in part because so many Americans have adopted baby girls from China. Driving the need more aggressively is the desire among ambitious parents to ensure their children’s worldliness, as such parents assume that China’s expanding influence will make Mandarin the sophisticates’ language decades hence. "

    Any thoughts out there?


    Website Builder said...

    I am an American living in China with my two small children, and see there development of Chinese Language skills as a great oppurtunity for the future.

    Amy said...

    I do wonder, however, if it's truly to benefit the kids or "keep up with the Jonses" so to speak. I also ache for most of the kids who have Au Pairs as they tend to be the ones raising the children vs the parents. I don't want to step on toes by saying that, but it's just something that gets me. What I do like is it's giving ladies a great job and chance to prosper.
    Why not hire someone who speaks Spanish as that is spkoen everywhere in the US?

    Val said...

    I think I'd rather do an exchange student program. If I can't take care of my own children, then I feel I need to cut something out. That's my opinion. So, yeah, they learn Chinese, but then they don't have their mom doing the mom stuff. Lots of the Chinese exchange students state they love children...they wouldn't be doing your work, but you'd still get that great culture being mixed into your family.

    trisha said...

    As a former English teacher here in Japan and now as a mother, I can understand both sides of the coin. My husbadn grew up in a household where Korean and Japanese were both spoken, but because he lived in Japan, his Korean soon fell by the wayside. As a child he was fluent, now he remembers very little. Our son is raised in a home where both English and Japanese are spoken. He understands both languages equally, but 9 times out of 10 he speaks Japanese. When we visited the States, he mainly spoke English. As a teacher of children, I watched many excel at writing and reading English but they had difficulty speaking. If you don't actively use the language, you can't fully develop. In short, if you don't use it, you lose it. All of that to say, if you want your child to really develop fluency, you have to make sure they have an opportunity to practice and develop their skill. Also, I believe that it is important that a child be able to identify with their cultural hertitage- learning the language is one way to do that.
    I understand, Amy, how you feel about wanting to raise your child yourself and deep down you know what is best for your child. Hope this big mish mash mush helps in some way!!

    Chinamama4 said...

    I agree with Val, that an exchange student would be a great way to share Chinese language and culture with our children! Hey, my DH and I would love to learn, too!Something to consider for the future...
    Our neighbor is a librarian, and in discussing acquisitions, specifically pertaining to foreign language materials, she has recently learned that Mandarin Chinese is second only to Spanish as the most frequently requested foreign language materials by patrons in libraries across the U.S. It was suggested that it had to do with China becoming much more of a key figure in the world market (sort of like Japan in the '80s).