Hong Kong people are materialistic, this is an undeniable truth. But are theses materialism genes also passed to the ultra young generation? It would be ridiculous to say no. Hong Kong children are among the top in the world who enjoy being fed, being served and owning expensive gadgets while living like a prince or princess. See below for some ideas of these spoilt children’s major characteristics:
1. One and the Only One Child
Though people have been saying that Hong Kong couples are more prone to make babies, birth rate is still remain ridiculously low – 11.7 live births per 1 000 population in 2009 (that is…what? 1.17%?) according to the latest government’s factsheet (click here). As a result, Hong Kong families end up with having only one single child. What does being the only child mean? You got all the attention!
2. Not Being Able to Eat and Shower by Themselves
No kidding. Many Hong Kong kids are being taken care of by foreign domestic helpers from the Philippines or Indonesia, so those kids are often being spoon-fed. When they’re hungry, all they need to do is to open their mouth, then food will automatically arrive (actually manually fed by their maid). Their maids would even help the kids to take shower, carry their schoolbag, bring lunchbox to the school and carry umbrella (though the kid has a raining coat already). At the age of 10, those kids still live like a (retarded) king without the ability to ear, shower and go to school by themselves.
3. Hate their Parents, Like their Maid
To those Hong Kong spoilt kids, their parents are like a cash machine for them. Because of the busy work schedule, parents always rely on the maid, private tutors, piano teacher and coaches to take care of the kid. As a result, in daily life, the “employees” are more closed to the kids than their parents. In particular, the maid is someone whom the kids talk to, listen to and play with when the parents are not around. Kids always blame the parents for not communicating with them and ask them about their days. It’s just sad.
4. Own an iPad at the Age of 3
This is a direct effect of the parents” lack of care to the kids. It often ends in the form of the parents buying material stuff to the kids to make them happier so that the parents can appear nicer and more caring. Hong Kong kids are so spoilt that some of them have even got an iPad before they learn to write their name. I remember I was wandering over the streets some time ago and saw a huge advertising billboard displaying some “iPad enlightenment courses” ads for 3-year-old kids, seriously.
5. Get Even Spoilt by their Grandparents
Because of the hatred for their parents, Hong Kong spoilt children usually stay with their grandparents at home alone. It is a common scene where the kid’s parents come home and scold the kids’ about poor homework performance or keeping on playing video games. In this case, grandparents would be a shelter of refuge for the kid to avoid their parents’ condemnations. The grandparents would be very sympathetic to the kid, and give whatever things the kid wants. The result? The kid gets even more spoilt!
Who to Blame?
It seems like many parts of the spoilt kids’ behavior are derived from their over reliance on their maid and that they take everything for granted – only stretching out their hands or opening their mouth and they can get what they want. Or it might be the parents’ fault, that they’re being too busy to communicate with the child and understand what the child really wants? That is no absolute parties to be blamed. Instead, the society as a whole should be blamed.
Being a consumption-based society where the economy is based heavily on finance, retail and tourism, Hong Kong people’s lives are always hasty. Meanwhile, hiring a foreign domestic helper is so cheap compared with the time cost of taking care of the kid by the parents. Therefore hiring of a maid at home actually brings efficiency, but the price is less communication between the kid and the parents, hence the pampered children.
Unless there is a humongous change in the Hong Kong economy, there is little hope to see less pampered children emerging in Hong Kong. What we can probably do now is more family education stating the importance of communications. The government is now doing this already, but yeah… the result is yet to be considered as effective. You know Hong Kong people wouldn’t easily change their mind just because of a TV ad (especially the government ones).
*Image source: http://insightblog.momcentralconsulting.com/5qs/