Hong Kong parents want fewer children unlike in many other countries where parents think, the more the merrier. These Hong Kong children should feel blessed and lucky, albeit lonely. Being born to typical Hong Kong parents, these children are showered with many privileges like being spoon-fed, assisted in shower and changing clothes. So children should think they’re lucky. But they are actually not in the long term.
Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong conducted a study that showed 79% of children who should be eating by themselves are still being fed by either family members or domestic helpers.
Grandpa and granny provide everything
With parents out to work, grandparents sometimes do the job of looking after their grandchildren. But maybe taking cue from their not so abundant yesteryears and now receiving their MPF bonanza, grandparents give these children whatever they want. Maybe even to the point of introducing something children should want.
Hey kid, you should have this mobile phone so grandma can call you.
Hey kid, you should have this game called PSP, someone told me it’s cool.
That’s what a nanny should do
Remember I wrote about why a Hong Kong employer should hire a Filipina domestic helper? Perhaps unaware would-be employers read that one and took each qualification literally. That might result to the nanny doing the school homework while the kid was busy with PSP grandpa introduced. Not only that. There are other things domestic helpers do that children at the right age are supposed to start doing like tying their shoelaces or assisting them in the shower. I know a domestic helper who still assists her 10-year old ward taking a bath. Nannies often carry heavy school bags or hold umbrellas for their wards.
Parents worry children think mum and dad don’t love them
Some parents may think giving their children what they wanted is a sign of love. Children appreciate this effort but such gesture from parents also breed a perception from children don’t need to do much because mum and dad will take care of everything. Just like believing that every time they approach the ATM and push some buttons, they’ll always get money, anytime. Unfortunately, without proper fiscal management, that ATM card will not produce money from any machine anymore. So are parents who will not be there for their children forever.
DR Chan is a reliable children’s physician
Too much care brings the irony: children who are overly protected often pay a visit in clinics. The survey revealed that almost 9 of 10 respondents said they brought their children at least once in the past 6 months. Not bad if the child is sick, but it could be a sign that parents rely on other people (doctors, nurses, domestic helpers, teachers) more than themselves when it comes to taking care of children. Blame the parents for the long queues in clinics? I’m not sure.
The result are shocking… maybe not
That kid who can’t go to shower on her own has a brother, 7 who keeps urinating his bed while he sleeps. Shhh.. this brother still have to wear diapers. Both children are known to be pampered by their nannies since birth and were mostly given the chance to do things on their own.
Too much meddling by family members and domestic helpers could haunt these children as they grow older. Effects can show up many years after they are called kids. When children grow old and experience hardships they may have no one else to go to. Their nannies will not be there anymore to carry their stripe bags and heavy luggage.
Children don’t need to do all these things because family members and nannies are there for them. What’s important is that they know how to do them and realize that soon, they’ll be doing those things all by themselves. Let children handle things themselves (and guide them). It should help them gain maturity.