Tough-love mums train cubs for uncertain future

Zhuang Pinghui:

Ding Xinzhu considers herself a strict mother. She lays down the rules for her four-year-old daughter, Yueyue, and she says she’s the only one in the family of seven whom Yueyue “is afraid of” and obeys.
“I told her she needs to sit up straight and feed herself at the table. If she disobeys, I will spank her. She cries, but she listens to me,” Ding, a 34-year-old executive in Shanghai, said. She picked a prominent kindergarten for her daughter and chose painting and ballet as extracurricular activities. On weekends, Yueyue takes piano lessons. “I think I’m the most demanding among my circle of mothers, but I’m only trying to provide the best for my child and prepare her for the future,” Ding said.