Why China Looked Good to This American Mother

When an American mother feels the need to write an article entitled, “China Helped Raise My American Kids, and They Turned Out Fine,” (NYT, 1/18/23) you know that something is way off.

The same government, which hid the origins of the Covid-19 outbreak, caused doctors and scientists to disappear, if they dared to speak out, seized citizens by force, on the streets, taking them to undisclosed destinations, locked entire cities in their homes, making it impossible to open their front doors and buy food if needed, and the same regime which established concentration camps for Uighurs, cannot, under any circumstances be a place where freedom-loving individuals would hail as the best place to raise their children.

Yet, Heather Kay, who lived in Shanghai for 16 years actually came to that conclusion.

She laughs at American parents who decried the heavy hand of their government, when told to mask up their kids all day, vaccinate them, isolate them and keep them from living normal lives.  To Kay, it was all perfectly normal, because she had already agreed to allow the Chinese government to co-parent her two daughters.

She explained that co-parenting begins in the womb, and since both her children were born in China, while the family worked there, it was something that she readily accepted.  This included being lectured about every aspect of life that concerned the children – how many hours they should sleep, what they should eat and how much they should weigh.  As she put it, “we sometimes felt as if our children were on loan to us for evenings and weekends, to be delivered back to school each weekday.”

But she claims that China raised her girls with morality, integrity and respect for elders.  Too bad those values never extended to Uighurs.  In short, she’s thrilled at how they turned out.

Missing from this ringing endorsement, was any mention about faith.  Did they have any to start with?  Were they allowed to pass that on to their daughters? And why did outsourcing the upbringing of their children feel so good to them?

It was this very subject which was recently explored during a Fox News segment as the serious scourge of crime, among American youth, was explored.  The presenter asked their guest, Pete Hegseth, what was the root cause of this terrible unrest.

Hegseth responded by saying, “The root cause is a rejection of God, truth and virtue, something which has to be imprinted on the souls of young people, and that’s the responsibility of fathers, mothers, grandparents, communities and church leaders, not cops.  Cops are meant to be the last line, who see the wreckage of beautiful lives which were not shepherded properly.”  Added to that list, he says, are “teachers, who should be teaching what is true, good and right.  Instead, kids go to social media, gangs or other aspects which give them a world view … which lead to consequences for the rest of society, but the truth is grounded in an understanding of the fear of God, and we’re not doing that.  We don’t have that perspective.”

This revelation seems so obvious, because it is how generations were once raised, yielding kind, empathetic, selfless, brave, honest, hard-working and God-fearing individuals who were able to determine right from wrong, truth from deception and common sense from moral depravity cloaked as something reasonable.

What we are witnessing in today’s society, is a decay and disintegration of the values which have accompanied decent societies that have endeavored to create a wholesome lifestyle not just for one, but for all.  It was why laws were created, ensuring boundaries which would not infringe upon the freedoms and rights of others, and it was what parents carefully passed on to their children, until recently.

Why have the last few generations failed to invest the type of quality time, needed advice, careful guidance, teaching of manners, expression of gratitude and regard for others, which their own parents and grandparents so painstakingly sowed into them? It’s likely because society took another turn which shifted the focus of proper parenting.  The long and arduous work which was required to turn out kids who shared the values of faith, family and freedom were replaced by television, computers, iPhones and social media.

Many parents realized that they could prop their children in front of some electronic mechanism which could take the onus off of them for a few hours.  Kids ended up raising themselves as soon as they were old enough to put a key around their neck.  With no one home, kids made the choices, and they gravitated to what other kids were doing without ever being monitored or supervised.

Each generation got a little better at it until a visible collapse began to take place.  Add to that, broken families, kids being, mostly, raised by one parent, a parent often too tired to put in the necessary work required to turn out a kid who understood that stealing is a crime, that lighting fire to other people, for kicks, is reprobate and that destroying property is a sign of anarchy and total disrespect for what others built.

Finally, take away God from the public arena of schools and other venues where prayer may have begun an event.  Consider the lethargy and apathy which has been at the heart of decreased attendance of houses of worship, and what you have is time-held values being replaced by actions with no accountability.

When parents outsource the upbringing of their children, something else will quickly fill the void of good morals, and from what we’ve been seeing over the past 10-15 years, it hasn’t been a good replacement but one which has wreaked devastation and destruction.  We are literally witnessing the end of conscience and the end of a working moral compass in so many of our youth, and no one knows how to solve it.

But if we don’t come to our senses and call on the Almighty to help us, we will, likely watch the depths to which humanity can sink without the teachings of the scriptures or the wise counsel and proper supervision of good parents who should have understood their tremendous responsibility but, sadly, neglected to produce children over whom they nor society could feel a sense of pride.

For now, though, if China’s byproduct are obedient robot kids, who are unable to identify injustice, inhumanity and whose souls are empty, then the American mother who concluded that her kids turned out just fine is selling something that the rest of us should simply not consider worth buying!

About the Author
A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.
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