The Chinese have always held traditional child care and nurture concepts of ‘kind mother and severe father’, and that ‘Failing to educate the child is the fault of the father.’ However, these traditional child-care concepts and nurturing methods are facing increasing challenges from the social changes linked to economic transformation, urban and rural population mobility, and other influences. Today, what are the characteristics of the Chinese way of child care and nurture? What kinds of interaction and clashes will occur during the child-care process between parents and children, husband and wife, and different generations? Based on empirical investigation and national statistical data, this chapter will describe these issues from the perspectives of child nurture and health, child care involvement of the father and grandparents, and educational attainment. Also, an analysis of other new issues will be conducted, including childhood obesity, the increasing burden of intergenerational child care, and the valuing of intelligence education and belittling of moral education. These issues have emerged in a social environment featuring an improved material standard of living, an increased number of only children, as well as high mobility and intensive competition. According to the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a child refers to ‘every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child’. CRC was officially implemented in China on 1 April 1992. Therefore, the child in the related studies of this chapter is defined as the group under 18 years old. With the implementation of China’s family planning policy, the proportion of Chinese children to the total population has been falling. Take the data of China’s census as an example. In the fifth census held in 2000, children aged 0-18 years accounted for 29.65 per cent of the total population (Population Census Office of the State Council, and Population, Social Science and Technology Statistics Division of the National Bureau of Statistics, 2002). In the sixth census held in 2010, the percentage of children had dropped to 17.87 per cent (Population Census Office of the State Council, and Population and Employment Statistics Division of the National Bureau of Statistics, 2012). The ratio of children to the total population decreased by nearly 12 per cent in a decade. Accordingly, the number of children in a family has also reduced, which has provided
the possibility for the household to give more sufficient care and nurture to the children. In the meantime, with the development of urbanization in China, factors such as social pressure, population mobility, and other influences have a significant effect on households, and child care and nurture are confronted with new challenges.