Why are Taiwanese children so well behaved?

In America, we’re told ALL throughout our lives that it’s normal for children to have melt downs, throw fits if they didn’t get what they want, be overly loud and disobedient and all around annoying.

And I thought this was normal all over the world. I mean, it was what America (and a lot of other Western countries) taught me.

That is until I went to Taiwan

I noticed the last 2 times I visited, that the children are INCREDIBLY well behaved.

They’re sweet, chill, playful, and relatively quiet, and I think I’ve only seen one kid melt down.

Now compare that to a few times I’ve seen American kids visiting Taiwan with their parents. THEY STOOD OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB. Whining that they couldn’t get something from the menu, being loud and demanding (mind you that I saw this in very young AND older kids).

So what’s up with this? I would LOVE to raise my children like this!

or small sample size?


The kids here really aren’t as different as you think they are…

That said, I’m a grown woman and still a little bit scared of my Taiwanese mommy.


Now I realized my cousin’s grow up in US are… totally ehem…"no comment "

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They are the same as kids everywhere else.


Spot on description of kids in Taiwan.


The secret is piano lessons.


mother in law?

Over/under for replies to this thread…87.

Not as good as ‘relationship’ questions but fun.

Which Taiwan are you in exactly?

I’ve been asked to cover the 1st and 2nd classes of a nearby elementary school cuz their “definitely co-teaching with a local teacher” Fulbright English Teaching Assistant left and, well, they sure as heck weren’t co-teaching cuz all the actual teachers have meetings during that time. There are only 11 kids in each class. They can’t even stand up for the start of class bow without breaking out into three different sets of actual fist fights. I asked a kid to put his markers away, and he threw them across the room, hitting another kid in the face and then had a meltdown on the floor in front of me when I asked him nicely to pick them up and put them away. A second grader. Another kid kept grabbing the collar of the kid in front of him, literally trying to choke him. Three kids refused to sit down as they grabbed each other’s shirts and (very roughly) pulled each other into each other and then shoved them away as hard as they could. The principal was in the room the whole time this was happening and was like “yeah, that’s kids for you”. Um, no. And you’re not paying me enough if you want me to play prison guard for kids who should at least be able to sit for ten seconds without nearly killing each other.

I’ve been out and watched kids punch their moms in the face before running out in to traffic and sitting in the middle of the road pitching a fit. Had kids screech “geeeeeeeiiiiii woooooooo! (給我)” at me because the table I was sitting at had napkins and his didn’t. I have no problem telling kids like this that they need to ask nicely. (Yep, that white woman just told your child in Chinese how to show manners. It would be nice if you did that to your own son, oh Taiwanese parents who couldn’t care less). I was over at a friends house and her kids started playing with those massive cleaver knifes like they were toy swords. There was screeching and “爸爸來了!” and little effort made to redirect their behavior to something that might have ended in not death. A neighbor kid rattled my door knob for a good three minutes while I intentionally took my time coming to the door, and when I said “The door won’t open when it’s locked. It’s best to wait for me to come and open it” (in Chinese), his mother’s only response was “吵死了!”
And don’t get me started on the physical beating in public that parents think is perfectly justified but we all know only leads to more behavior problems cuz we’ve all taken psychology 101.

Basically, I really don’t know what you’re talking about. Children are children. If you teach them respect and speak to them respectfully, they will learn respect. Eventually. Having a meltdown is a natural part of being a child who can’t express oneself eloquently and genuinely believes they need something right now or else they will die.

Personally, the only other place I’ve seen kids behave as badly in the US as I see here is at a school in the inner city of a very segregated city where the kids’ only meals came from the shit school breakfasts/ lunches and very likely didn’t have a safe place to sleep the night before. Those kids had an excuse for wanting to kill someone. Kids here don’t. well, not really. Except for the ones with alcoholic fathers. Which is a pretty unfortunately high percentage. Like… almost all of them…


I am not yet married.

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Not all are well behaved.

Well, I have been only living in Taipei, and from the replies of others down below, they make it sound like they’re just like the American kids.

However, even though I understand that no kids, anywhere in the world, are perfect, I still notice this oddity. Especially when the melt downs or temper tantrums are so few. And especially when American children stand out so profoundly with their behaviors whenever I see them.

I haven’t run into one American kid here that’s been well behaved in the 6 months I’ve lived in Taiwan.

Anyways, these are just my personal observations, so I’m happy for feedback. :slight_smile:

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This is SO confusing then!

I don’t know where you’re based in Taiwan. Do you think it could be locational since I’m in Taipei?

For some reason every child I’m around is sweet and quiet while every American child I run into is loud and can be unruly.

Would love to hear your response because now this bugging me. Haha

After a year teaching Taiwanese children at a cram school, I concluded, like most of the replies here, that Taiwanese children are just as bad or as good as children anywhere else in the world. Then I taught British, French, German, and Russian children, and I quickly realised that Taiwanese children (from my relatively limited experience) are, by and large, better behaved after all. There’s just no question about it.

From what I experienced, you can dangle the threat of telling the parents over most Taiwanese children because they really seem to care about it, even the really naughty ones. But with those other countries I listed, the naughty kids couldn’t care less if their parents are told. Similarly, grades matter to most Taiwanese children of all ages, even grades from after-school English classes (this probably ties back to making the parents happy, seeing as they paid so much to send children there). Grades from after-school English classes mean nothing to the children from the countries I listed above.

Yes, some Taiwanese children are absolute brats. The level of entitlement I felt from those children was probably higher than what I felt from children from other countries. But the behaviour, generally, is unquestionably better.


Yeah, I could be wrong. To be honest I haven’t had experience of kids from other countries for a long time, so it could be that Taiwanese kids are relatively well-behaved.


Kids will be kids, but generally Taiwanese kids respond to authority more and care more about their own performance at school.

It was shocking to move to the US and listen to kids and parents say Jimmy is just not good at math. And watch parents give kids a high five for getting a B in school like it’s an accomplishment.

But recent kids are probably more entitled as more of them are only childs.


Why do you think they respond to authority more?

Whose the “we’re” in America? Hollywood?
Who taught you that?
Do not agree with logic, as I’m American, as I don’t see this wholesale blanketing observation.
Kids will be kids. You’ll have good, you’ll have bad. Probably 95% of outcome is parenting quality.

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Strict home education, and the concept of 孝順