A new research study concluded in China revealed that Chinese children below the age of six (06) years are among those who have the least amount of sleep, outdoor activities and quality time with parents compared to peers around the globe.

The report by Gymboree, an early childhood education service provider, is based on a survey conducted in early 2012 that polled some 7,500 families in 14 countries.

Findings of the survey revealed that the chinese children under the age of 6 sleep for an average of 9 hours and 15 minutes every day, lower than the global average of 10 hours and 9 minutes, ranking third last among the countries, which included Japan, South Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The average time for outdoor activities for children under 6 in China was about 52 minutes, the least in the 14 polled countries, and only 25 percent of the global average of 3 hours and 45 minutes.

The survey also found that Chinese parents spend less quality time with their children than their peers in other countries. In Canada, a child stays with at least one of its parents for more than 23 hours (including sleeping time) every day, while the figure in China is only 12 hours (including sleeping time), the least of the 14 polled countries.

About 53 percent of Chinese children are raised by grandparents and babysitters instead of parents, according to the survey.

When asked about early childhood education methods, more than 70 percent of Chinese parents listed teaching children to recognize Chinese characters, recite poems and speak English as their primary focus.

Many Chinese families have undervalued the significance of cultivating awareness and interests in music, painting and social skills, said Lan Hai, a child psychologist with the Beijing-based Schwabing Education.

“Parents need to let kids be kids and enjoy their childhood, otherwise children’s imaginations and creativity may be nipped in the bud,” said Lan.

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