BEIJING – China’s parliament will consider legislation to punish parents if their young children “behave very badly” or commit crimes.

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In the draft Family Education Promotion Act, parents will be reprimanded and ordered to go through family education guidance programs if prosecutors find very bad or criminal behavior in children under their care.

Zhang Tiwei, spokesman for the Legislative Affairs Commission under the National People’s Congress (NPC), said, “There are many reasons for adolescents to misbehave, and the main reason is the lack of family education or inappropriate family education.”

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The draft Family Education Promotion Act, which will be reviewed at the NPC Standing Committee session this week, also urges parents to make time for their children to rest, play and exercise.

Beijing has used a more vocal paternal hand this year, from youth addiction to online games, which are considered a form of “spiritual opium”, to cracking down on “blind” worship of Internet celebrities.

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In recent months, the Ministry of Education has limited gaming hours for minors, allowing them to play online games for one hour only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

It has also cut back on homework and banned after-school tuition for major subjects during weekends and holidays, worrying about the heavy academic burden on overwhelmed children.

At the same time, China is urging young Chinese men to be less “feminine” and more “masculine”.

In its “Proposal to Stop Feminization of Male Adolescents” released in December, the Ministry of Education urged schools to promote on-campus sports such as soccer.

(Reporting by Albie Zhang and Ryan Wu Editing by Peter Graff)