Parenting Advice from the First Lady of China

Controversial parenting advice banned in Chinese media strikes a cord with Singaporean parents

Many people have asked me where I found  parenting advice from Peng Liyuan, the First Lady of China because if you try to google it, you won’t find it anywhere in English.   This is the story.

My mum sent it to me via Whatsapp in 傳統字 (traditional mandarin) and when I googled it I could only find it on Taiwanese blogs. So I used Google Translate to translate it to 简体字 (simplified Chinese) and found it on Chinese blogs (as early as 2013 and most recently July 2015 but couldn’t find it on any official Chinese press).

The translation was the hard part. Yup. Put it in Google Translate and this is what you get

I wanted  a translation that was grammatically correct in English, rather than a literal translation. However, I wanted to keep as close to the Chinese meaning as possible. So I had to use multiple translators, slowly translating one character at a time.

Deciding which character to start the quote with was also hard as the app will only highlight the first character which is why you notice that some quotes have been reorganised. It’s not perfect but it was the best I could do within these constraints.

The Facebook album was been shared over 5,000 times within a week so I guess I didn’t do that bad a job 😀. Because I shared  it with my Facebook profile page and not my Facebook page, I lost all share count after 5k at the album level.

But I still have likes and shares for each individual slide in that photo album, which is insightful in itself! The  most popular piece of advice by far is the last one.


The IOS app I used is called Notegraphy. It’s lots of fun.   There’s a web and mobile app. I tried a few different styles before I picked this one.

You can see the designs I rejected. I thought about using a different design for each quote but the consistency of the same style was a good move.

Look for my originals and remix / edit them yourself, change the text or the style! Make it into a photo album with pictures of your kids and give it away as a Christmas present.

Leave a Reply