How to parent your child according to their Chinese zodiac sign

According to Chinese astrology, the Year your child is born* determines a number of things: their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and compatibility with other signs.

To celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year (5 February 2019), we have compiled a brief summary of each sign’s personality characteristics, their compatibility with other signs (which might help you work out which other family members your child gets on with, or not!) and some advice on how to parent your little Dogs, Pigs, Dragons, or whoever you happen to have in your happy little zoo.

*Bear in mind that your child’s astrological sign may not correspond with the Gregorian calendar we use, so if your child’s birthday is in January or February (when Lunar New Year tends to fall), double-check that you have their correct sign here

RAT CHILD (2008, 2020)

Personality traits

  • Clever
  • Charming
  • Generous to loved ones
  • Stubborn

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Ox, Dragon, Monkey

LOWEST: Horse, Rooster

Parenting the Rat child

DO: Kick back and enjoy reasonably relaxed parenting, as Rat children are most likely to be forgiving of  your parental transgressions, and also most likely to look after you in old age.

DO NOT: Throw out their toys and other belongings without their permission. They are quite protective of their possessions.

DO: Gently discourage their tendency to make mountains out of molehills.

OX CHILD (2009, 2021)

Personality traits

  • Honest
  • Patient
  • Level-headed
  • Obstinate

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Rat, Snake, Rooster

LOWEST: Dragon, Horse, Sheep

Parenting the Ox child

DO: Establish sound daily and household routines, as little Oxen thrive in a predictable and secure home environment.

DO NOT: Smother your Ox child as their independent nature will not respond well to overly emotional or histrionic parenting. In return, they’re also not prone to tantrum-throwing.

TIGER CHILD (2010, 2022)

Personality traits

  • Loyal
  • Courageous
  • Trustworthy
  • Arrogant

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Dragon, Horse, Pig

LOWEST: Ox, Snake, Monkey

Parenting the Tiger child

DO: Let your little Tiger know who’s boss (i.e. YOU, the parent!). The earlier they learn that they can’t dominate everyone, the better it’ll be for them and everyone around them in the long run.

DO NOT: Dismiss them or try to rationalise with them when they are upset. While they are in the thick of it, they will respond best to unwavering sympathy. Wait till they’ve calmed down before you gently point out how they can best fix the situation, or that perhaps the other person they had the grievance with wasn’t entirely at fault.

RABBIT CHILD (2011, 2023)

  • Gentle
  • Compassionate
  • Timid
  • Conservative

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Sheep, Pig

LOWEST: Snake, Rooster, Tiger

Parenting the Rabbit child

DO: Sit back and enjoy the praise from other people about your lovely, quiet, well-mannered child.


DO NOT: Be get too smug about it. Your little Rabbit is skilled in the art of subtle manipulation to get their way.

DO: Be calm and gentle on the rare occasion you’ll need to discipline your Rabbit child, as they will not respond well to harsh discipline.

DRAGON CHILD (2012, 2024)

  • Successful
  • Confident
  • Kind
  • Quick-tempered

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Snake, Rat, Monkey

LOWEST: Ox, Sheep, Dog

Parenting the Dragon child

DO: Teach them to handle failure with grace.

DO NOT: Let them dominate less assertive children.

DO NOT: Waste effort trying to reason with them while they’re enraged as they tend to be stubborn and irrational in the thick of anger. But don’t worry – their anger subsides quickly.

Chinese zodiac sign - Dragon

SNAKE CHILD (2013, 2025)

Personality traits

  • Humorous
  • Determined
  • Passionate
  • Suspicious

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Dragon, Rooster, Ox

LOWEST: Horse, Tiger, Monkey

Parenting the Snake child

DO: Encourage their artistic inclinations. Snake children like to expand their horizons through varied food, music and art.

DO NOT Take physical health problems at face value. Snakes tend to internalise stress, so if they complain of a physical ailment (e.g. headache or tummy ache), there may be something emotional at its root. Be delicate and patient when trying to draw out their woes, but don’t be too discouraged if they remain secretive – Snakes prefer to rely on their intuitions rather than the advice of others.

HORSE CHILD (2002, 2014)

Personality traits

  • Popular
  • Warm-hearted
  • Independent
  • Moody

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Tiger, Sheep, Dog

LOWEST: Rat, Ox, Rooster

Parenting the Horse child

DO: Teach them from an early age to persist with goals and obligations. Horse children tend to fall out of love with hobbies, ideas and even people as quickly as they fall in love with them, and this tendency may hurt them and others close to them.

DO NOT: Try to enforce too many rules and regulations on your little Horse as this is a sure fire way to make them rebel.

SHEEP CHILD (2003, 2015)

Personality traits

  • Gentle
  • Considerate
  • Hardworking
  • Moody
  • Indecisive

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Horse, Rabbit, Pig

LOWEST: Ox, Tiger, Dog

Parenting the Sheep child

DO: Be gentle when it comes to academia and related matters. In the face of overly competitive environments or harsh criticism, Sheep will retreat or give up on the task altogether.

DO NOT: Push your Sheep child to be independent too quickly. Unlike with other children, Sheep don’t have a natural inclination towards independence, and need support in making decisions.

MONKEY CHILD (2004, 2016)

Personality traits

  • Intelligent
  • Curious
  • Sociable
  • Funny
  • Jealous

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Rat, Dragon.

LOWEST: Pig, Tiger, Snake

Parenting the Monkey child

DO: Encourage sensitivity and understanding of others, as, often unbeknownst to them, their sharp tongues and prankster tendencies may hurt their friends.

DO NOT: Allow them to be complacent about their achievements. Although their natural intelligence means that success comes very easily to them, they might get a nasty shock the few times things don’t go their way.

Chinese zodiac sign - Monkey

ROOSTER CHILD (2005, 2017)

Personality traits

  • Unconventional
  • Progressive
  • Helpful
  • Kind-hearted
  • Egotistical

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Snake, Ox

LOWEST: Rat, Rabbit

Parenting the Rooster child

DO: Be prepared for some power struggles. Roosters are very stubborn and hate to admit they’re in the wrong.

DO NOT: Encourage their tendency to be judgmental. Teach them that just because someone does not fit their personal standards of style and hygiene, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t worthy of the Rooster’s friendship.

DOG CHILD (2006, 2018)

Personality traits

  • Loyal
  • Courageous
  • Energetic
  • Stubborn

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Rabbit, Horse, Tiger

LOWEST: Dragon, Sheep

Parenting the Dog child

DO: Help them to become less self-critical and not sweat the small stuff.

DO NOT: Give them orders or force them to do things. Dog children will respond much more positively to being trusted with responsibilities and having a say on the things that affect them.

PIG CHILD (2007, 2019)

Personality traits

  • Warm-hearted
  • Honest
  • Gentle
  • Naive

Compatibility with other family members

HIGHEST: Tiger, Rabbit, Sheep

LOWEST: Snake, Monkey

Parenting the Pig child

DO: Enjoy the cuddles, smiles and devotion of this easy child.

DO: Watch out for their legendary clumsiness while they’re young, which they will thankfully grow out of.

DO NOT: Let them be taken advantage of by their siblings or peers.

Main information sources: ParentMap, Building Beautiful Souls

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