You are here

Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 19:30

Breaking with Tradition: The Challenges of Parenting in China

Ms. Yanhong Wheeler

Parenting Specialist

Embassy of New Zealand



Xinxilan Dashiguan

1 Ritan Dong Er Jie

Breast milk or formula? Diapers or split pants? Obedience or individuality? While these questions provoke impassioned debate anywhere in the world, they're particularly poignant in China, where the government's one-child policy creates immense pressure on mothers and fathers who will never get a second chance to be a better parent. In this environment, one parenting specialist is causing a stir—and becoming a fixture on bestseller lists. She is Xiao Wu, the “Wee Witch” – the nom de plume for Ms. Yanhong Wheeler.

Yanhong Wheeler challenges traditional Chinese child-rearing methods and cites Western philosophical principles as the basis of her approach. She will discuss her many campaigns against common perceptions that are no longer applicable in China's swift-moving society. Her lecture will examine the issues that make up the parenting debate as well as the core challenges in cultivating a more diverse and innovative path for China's children and the country's future.

Born in Beijing and a graduate of Peking University in English, Ms. Wheeler holds a Masters of Education from Rutgers University (US) and is married to a New Zealander with whom she has two children. She has penned four books and is a celebrated columnist for the Chinese version of “Parents” magazine.