Ancient China Family

Family in ancient China was very important. Families helped each other in the fields, selling goods and taking care of each other.

From a small age, children learned from their parents to be respectful of their elders. Giving respect to elders was very important in ancient China’s family life.
Ancient China Family


Ancient China families lived in the same house. Village homes in agricultural areas were small. Homes were generally two rooms with bamboo walls and a thatched roof.

There was little furniture within the home. An ancient China family may have a bench or table but no other furniture.

Wealthy or noble ancient Chinese families lived in more elaborate dwellings. Their homes were made of wood with tile roofs that were curved shape.

There was also little furniture in a wealthy or noble house. Wealthy and noble ancient Chinese families had gardens in the center of the home filled with flowering trees, flowers and ponds.

Who lived in the homes?

No matter if you were poor or wealthy, everybody in ancient China lived within the home. At times there could be three generations of family living in one house.

Ancient China families living together included parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The eldest male member of the family controlled the home.
Ancient Chinese Children

Boys to men to in ancient China

From birth onwards boys were highly regarded in ancient China. Boys were expected to learn the trade of their father. If the father was a farmer, then their boys would become farmers.

At a young age boys would enter into the fields, the shops or start to be an artisan. Only boys from wealthy or noble families went to school.

Men in ancient China had an absolute say in everything. Children were taught to be respectful of elders and follow the rules of the house.

Girls to women in ancient China

Girls in ancient China were not as highly regarded as boys. Many times after birth, girls would be left to die. Poor girls entered the fields with their parents to work.

They also learned how to take care of the household chores such as cooking and cleaning.

Girls from wealthy or noble families had a much different life. These girls were forced to have their feet bound. Foot binding was a cruel practice in ancient China. Young girls would have their feet broken in order to have small feet.

In ancient China foot binding produced a perfect small foot. In ancient China small feet were considered attractive. Small feet were important for a girl to marry into a wealthy or noble family.

Women in ancient China taught their children basics at home. Children also learned from their mothers how to be respectful to their elders.

Women were taught to obey their husbands at all times. Women in ancient China had very little say about their lives.

Marriage in ancient China

Marriages in ancient China were arranged by parents. Boys and girls had no say in who they married. Very seldom did a boy and girl marry the person they loved. Marriage did not usually change your social status.

Marriages took place between people of the same social status. Farmers married farmers, merchants married merchants and nobles married nobles.
Family in Ancient China

Important facts about ancient China family

  • Family was very important in ancient China.
  • Three generations of family would live in the same home.
  • Homes in rural areas were small two bedroom structures with thatched roofs and little or no furniture. Wealthy or noble homes always contained a garden in the center.
  • Children were taught at a young age to respect their elders.
  • Boys were wanted more than girls. Many times girls would be left to die after birth.
  • Only boys from noble or wealthy families went to school.
  • Girls from noble or wealthy families had foot bindings.
  • Marriage in ancient China was arranged by the parents.


1. Some homes in ancient China contained how many generations of family?


2. Girls from noble or wealthy families had to endure what type of painful procedure?

Foot binding

3. How were marriages arranged in ancient China?

By the parents

4. What were children taught at a young age?

To respect their elders