Rookie Dad trained to Become “Super Home Daddy”-China News

Every month, we  feature news  from Chinese news that may not caught the eye of the western media.  Find out what happens in China outside of what is published on China Daily.  Johann, from Easy Mandarin Chinese School (www.easymandarin.cn), will be finding, translating and helping us learn some related words to teach us a little more about China.

Do you remember the American comedy “the Pacifier”? In Chinese, it is called “Super Home Daddy”. In this movie, the hero, played by action Vin Diesel, finds himself in a unique situation of raising his friend’s 5 children and performing all the things attached to parenting- showering the baby, changing diapers ,feeding children,homework,studies and keeping them out of trouble…For most of us, it is a job we share (more or less ) with our better halves but in countries like China it is still not a social norm.Research have showed that men, more than women, are likely to help their children become more independent.

On September 13th, 21 male participants enrolled in a new training course arranged by the Hunan Children Hospital designed to teach newborn daddies how to look after their baby.Young dad, Cheng Jiu Zhang, is the father of two premature twins – a boy and a girl. The young father explains, “because of their condition the children need even more care than normal babies and everyone in the family is very careful.” “As soon as I learned that Hunan Children Hospital was organizing free training for novice dads, I immediately enrolled ”.As Cheng Jiu Zhang relates, “I have learned so many things: How to bathe a baby the right way; How to hold a baby to make him comfortable. It made me feel strange in the beginning”. However, as time went on, Cheng Jiu Zhang transformed himself into a more assertive home dad, while at the same time continuing his ‘provider’ duty for his family. Under the teacher’s guidance, novice dads learn how to change babies’ clothes, wash, massage, change diapers, and many other important things to take care of a baby. They learn, for example, that bath temperature must be above 25 degrees Celsius; otherwise, the baby might catch a cold. When adding water to the bath, they should first put cold water then hot water; the water temperature should be around 38 to 40 degrees Celsius.

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Working overtime on evenings and weekends is common for many young dads who are striving to earn more money to let their wife and children have a better life. As a consequence, less time is devoted to the family. This is the real life version of “Where are We Going, Dad” – a popular Chinese reality show featuring Chinese male celebrities spending quality time with their kids.A survey conducted in this hospital in 2014 interviewed 124 fathers aged from 24 to 34 years old – 31% were living in the city – 52% in the country side and 27% in the suburb. The study found out that 72% of newborns’ fathers did not help at all in raising their baby. Only 28% had ever changed a diaper.The study also pointed out that 74% of fathers had a strong interest in raising their baby; but, this does not go beyond the theory stage. Therefore, one of the most important purposes of this training is to help fathers gain the knowledge to be more confident in raising their newborn child.

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An old Chinese proverb says, “if you are uneducated, this is your father responsibility”, putting the role of the father at a central position within the development of a child’s well being.An American study conducted by Yale University over a period of 15 years revealed the fundamental role of the father within a child’s life. The study demonstrates that IQ is higher in those where the father took an important role in the child’s education. Other benefits include more sympathy toward others, healthier body, and a better chance of success in life.

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Vocabulary:

奶爸 (nǎi bà): home dad

超级 (chāojí): super

父亲 (fùqīn): father

双胞胎 (shuāngbāo tāi): twins

龙凤胎 (lóngfèng tāi ): twins (a boy and a girl)

训练 (xùnliàn): training

新手 (xīnshǒu): novice

家庭 (jiātíng): family

换尿布 (huàn niàobù): change diapers

抱孩子 (bào háizi): hold a baby

智商 (zhìshāng) : IQ

照顾 (zhàogù): look after