New Job: Pretending To Be Parents of High Schoolers

Netizens are chiming in on instances when they’ve been asked (or hired) to impersonate the parents of students

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7:47 PM HKT, Fri September 15, 2023 1 mins read

Chinese netizens are highlighting a new phenomenon — requests from high school students to pose as parents, with tasks that range from retrieving confiscated phones to calling for sick leave on their clients’ behalf.

A post on Instagram-like app Xiaohongshu detailed one job request to pick up a confiscated phone. The student had included information about the age to be portrayed, and task details including work hours, salary, and application format.

The post received over 9,400 likes, resonating with other netizens who shared similar experiences in the comments section.

The viral post had all the makings of a real job listing. Image via Xiaohongshu

Other users had faced similar situations, and some went to great lengths to portray a more convincing ‘father’ image, even scolding students in front of their headmasters. Another recounted calling the noodle vendor outside the school ‘dad’ for three years, simply because the school’s policy prohibited food deliveries to campus, but made an exception for homemade dishes.

Instead of turning to third parties, some students choose to take on the role of parent themselves. One shared that, posing as her own mother, she had successfully reported an English teacher for providing test answers to students in hr own class through practice exams.

Still, it’s not always a smooth operation. One cello teacher shared an experience in which a middle school student posed as a mother seeking lessons for her daughter.

“For those who are underage, it’s essential to have a discussion with your family before proceeding,” she wrote. “If you can’t afford the tuition fees on your own, you have to find a solution that works with what you have.”

In China’s rigid academics-first culture of parenting, these ruses might stem from students’ desire to navigate life independently, either without burdening their parents, or else, without incurring their wrath.

Image via Unsplash

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