Why Are Millions of Chinese Kids Parenting Themselves?

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Why Are Millions of Chinese Kids Parenting Themselves? 5
Generations of Wang Ying’s family farmed the misty mountains of Liangshan, one of China’s poorest regions. But now, the 14-year-old girl lives on her own as the sole caretaker of her two younger siblings. They are among an estimated 9 million “left-behind children” raising themselves in the Chinese countryside.

"Down from the Cold Mountain" was directed by Max Duncan. It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.

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💬 Comments on the video

I'll never read the "Made in China" label the same way ever again.

Author — stop it, liz


When the older girl was talking about missing her parents it honestly had me crying

Author — Cora Edwards


"Poor people eat chicken
Rich people eat goat
Single people eat egg "
Great analogy.

Author — ida yg


Dr Phil should send kids here instead of the ranch

Author — Anna Chen


That girl who smiles is so cute. She really deserves to be in a better place.

Author — GamingTaylor


stumble upon this video when i took a break from writing a paper for final..i felt like i was slapped by her last word *"It might be tiring now but the more you study, the easier it will get"*

Author — LaurenLaurensia


I'm never realize before...from a super cheap product of China, theres a poor people that leave their family to work and get low pay. I don't know why...but this is so heartbreaking

Author — Allissia Purple


This video should be shown to all scholl-age children in Europe. Altough poor, this people has a certain kind of dignity and beauty to my eyes.

Author — A C


I come from a third world country in the Caribbean, my mom comitted suicide when I was 16 and my dad was about as useless as a paper umbrella...
Yet, somehow, I find myself happily married with a wonderful daughter living in London.
I just got lucky.
This video was a bit close to home and made me cry. Children having to look after their siblings and basically forced to grow up way before their time. But at least their parents are trying their best to give them a better life .

Author — Vish Jey


I complain every day that i need to wake up at 7 am to go school but when i watched this video it hit me how other children take so long to go school

Author — Mimi A


no matter how poor you are there's nothing like having your mother by your side

Author — Ksnamaste


The daughter is so correct...it is better to be together as a family. The kids may get an education but they will suffer from this lack of parenting for the rest of their lives.

Author — Miss TP


I understand the mother's pain
children for work. Every moment the mind and heart worries for kids.

Author — sudha rajaram


Some over-privileged people commenting down here, belittle the mother for "not speaking nice enough" at the daughter 12:30 ..., I speak from experience growing up in a similar poor farming village far from the cities, every parents here speak quiet harsh by your standard, they discipline us hard (would punish us badly if we miss school for example), but that's because our lives are hard, we suppose to toughen up physically and mentally quicker...

I know the difference between the parents who just plain abusive and those who seems harsh but actually try to give their children a better life, and parents in this video certainly the latter, I mean they could be lazying around on their village farm making just enough to eat day-to-day, but instead they took a job with shitty pay in a cities where they can barely speak the language so they can help saving and getting the better future for the kids.

Not everyone got the luxury to give their kids perfect childhood, it is the effort that counts, next time think a little bit before criticizing struggling people trying their hardest in the most difficult of situations...
Good luck for the family...

Author — Bobby 09


This made me realize that we take so many thing in life for granted.. it makes me feel ashamed of myself

Author — Mxnch ie xoxo


That 1st girl is a pretty girl O.O Srsly, her eye proportion and smile and tiny nose. For those who disagrees with me, my definition of beauty differs from yours.

Edited: her mom is pretty too!!

Author — Kerstina Zhao


They look physically so different from the rest of Chinese people; the hair, the eyes, the skin color.

Author — Dionicio Baca


The kind of life we western people dream of returning too.. How paradoxical.

Author — Henrik Karl


There was a movie about this. It's called Nobody Knows, made in 2004.
I felt it was a very sad, but beautiful movie.

Author — Widdekuu91


It's sad. I am here living comfortable with my family and still complaining .. then there are these kids that don't have parents beside them..
May God be with this family... they are very humble.!

Author — Chelsi Chun