(PAIR.uh.shoot kidz) n. Children sent to a new country to live alone or with a caregiver while their parents remain in their home country.
Craig, a high school senior, lives a fantasy most teen-agers only dream. He and his sister Zoe, 14, live in a sprawling San Marino ranch house, their one chaperon an elderly servant who speaks no English...Craig and Zoe are examples of a phenomenon so familiar in the Chinese community that there is a nickname for it: "parachute kids" — dropped off to live in the United States while their wealthy parents remain in Asia.
The parents, mostly from Taiwan, want their children in more open, less cutthroat U.S. school systems, in which the chances of getting into college are much greater.
Parents may place their children with distant relatives or paid caretakers, or simply buy a house for them and have them stay alone. Under these scenarios, the youngsters often live much as adults would, deciding when to go to sleep or attend school and whether dinner will consist of leafy greens or potato chips.