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How Do Chinese Parents Discipline?Do They Still Spank?

Not anymore.

China has a long history of using corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure for children, and it is still widely accepted in many households.

However, recent studies suggest that the trend is shifting as parents are becoming more aware of the potential negative effects of spanking on their children’s mental and emotional development.

This article aims to explore the prevalence of spanking in Chinese parenting practices, the reasons behind its persistence, and the potential alternatives.

Why do Chinese Parents Spank Their Kids?

One common reason is to enforce discipline and obedience, as spanking is seen as a quick and effective way to correct misbehavior.

Parents believe that spanking can help their children understand the consequences of their actions and avoid repeating them in the future.

Additionally, spanking is often seen as a way to instill respect for authority and elders, as well as to reinforce cultural values and expectations.

It is believed that spanking can help shape a child’s character and prepare them for the challenges of adult life.

To Understand Spanking Culture Better from History:

Before the Tang Dynasty

There was no fixed area for corporal punishment in China.

It could be administered on the buttocks, legs, or back, which led to the executioner accidentally striking the back of the prisoner’s head, resulting in death.

During the Tang Dynasty

The court physicians created the “Illustrated Acupuncture Points Manual” and presented it to Emperor Taizong.

After reviewing the manual, Emperor Taizong discovered that there were fewer critical acupuncture points on the buttocks than on the back.

As a result, he reformed corporal punishment by prohibiting strikes to the prisoner’s chest, back, or higher, only allowing strikes to the buttocks.

Shame Culture

In addition to reducing the likelihood of death, there was another reason that the ancient Chinese preferred to use corporal punishment on the buttocks, and that was “shame culture.”

China is a country of etiquette, where teachers educate people to “be aware of shame.”

In people’s minds, the buttocks are a private part of the body and a shameful part of the body.

Being struck on the buttocks was considered a very shameful thing.

The ancient Chinese believed that corporal punishment could teach a lesson and deter people from committing crimes.

Are you interested in knowing other aspects of Chinese culture? Here are the perfect books to read about.

How Do The Chinese Kids Feel about It?

You gonna laugh! 🤣

My Experience

I only got spanked once by my parents in my whole life when I was 7 years old for picking money from my parents pocket without asking.

It worked on me and I got very disciplined about money topic after.

And……It was not so painful. 😂

How do Chinese Parents Discipline Their Kids These Days?

Urban Areas

Chinese parents in urban areas vary greatly in their disciplinary methods, just like parents in the United States.

  • Some Chinese parents in urban areas spank their children, while others do not.
  • Some Chinese parents in urban areas send their children to their room as a form of punishment, while others assign them extra chores or take away privileges such as technology or playing with friends.

Rural Areas

Rural areas in China tend to be less wealthy and have less exposure to the world outside their communities.

It appears that parents in rural areas in China tend to use spanking as a disciplinary method more frequently.

Final Words:

It is important to understand these cultural differences in parenting and to avoid making broad generalizations about any particular group of parents.


What is the highest punishment in China?

The highest punishment in China is the death penalty, which is still used for a wide range of crimes including murder, drug trafficking, and corruption.

What age do Children get spanked?

Roughly around 3 to 10.

It is important to note that the use of physical punishment on children has become a topic of increasing concern in China, with many experts advocating for more positive and nonviolent approaches to discipline.

Are kids who are spanked better behaved?

Yes, they did for most cases.

But we can not rule out exceptions.

And study shows positive and non-violent approaches to discipline have been shown to be more effective in the long run.

Do kids get spanked at school?

No, kids do not get spanked at school.

But corporal punishment is still used in some schools, although its use has declined over the years due to increasing concern about its potential harmful effects.

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