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Old 12-19-2013, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Generalising here, of course, but given the fact that in many families in Singapore both parents work full time, and employ a domestic worker (maid) to do everything from scrubbing the floor to bathing the baby and taking the kids on outings, I wonder if these children, who lack both parental influence, especially discipline, are growing up to be demanding, privileged and materialistic? I wonder if family ties are weakening because of this. I'm not saying all children boss their maids around or act up, or that the maids aren't doing a good job basically raising the child and being a foster mother/father most of the time, but I've observed it myself (having stayed in various homes in Singapore and Malaysia). Of course, people in many countries think the young are ill-mannered, selfish, superficial or whatever, but I noticed quite a few spoiled/naughty children, and have heard that many young Singaporeans are pretty self-absorbed and well, rather demanding.

 
Old 12-19-2013, 05:34 PM
 
Location: SGV, CA
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What children? Singapore has one of the lowest birthrates in the entire world lol. I was in Singapore last year for 5 days and for the life of me I can't recall seeing any small children, except at the Zoo.
 
Old 12-19-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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Well.There was a flap about a young National Service soldier recently who had the family maid meet him at the MRT station to carry his back pack home. The children and their parents are spoiled. We have a 40 something year old cousin with two pre teen children. She has never learned to cook nor has she ever changed diapers. Maid does everything. Cousin and her husband will not even go to the tap for a glass of water. Maid has to do it. Cousin must be called "madam" at all times.
 
Old 12-19-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Singapore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Generalising here, of course, but given the fact that in many families in Singapore both parents work full time, and employ a domestic worker (maid) to do everything from scrubbing the floor to bathing the baby and taking the kids on outings, I wonder if these children, who lack both parental influence, especially discipline, are growing up to be demanding, privileged and materialistic? I wonder if family ties are weakening because of this. I'm not saying all children boss their maids around or act up, or that the maids aren't doing a good job basically raising the child and being a foster mother/father most of the time, but I've observed it myself (having stayed in various homes in Singapore and Malaysia). Of course, people in many countries think the young are ill-mannered, selfish, superficial or whatever, but I noticed quite a few spoiled/naughty children, and have heard that many young Singaporeans are pretty self-absorbed and well, rather demanding.
Yes and no to the question in the title.

It actually doesn't take a wealthy family to afford a domestic helper in Singapore. It seems rather to be the norm, if anything. In some instances, I've observed that parents are fully capable of tending to their children and that the domestic helper is in fact, a supplementary addition for no apparent purpose.

On to the bit on misbehaving children. I do notice that children below the age of 12 in my country lack basic manners and it is, surprisingly, not a recent thing. I attribute this to negative influence from their parents so it's quite simply a case of 'monkey see, monkey do.' Rare is the child who exhibits great self-control in public by not swinging around the grab poles in trains. Rarer is the parent who bats an eyelid at that.

The only stirling example I can mention took place in a bookshop some years back -- and it never happened again. I was browsing a Tintin comic book when a boy perhaps no more than 12 years of age came up to me and said, "excuse me, could you help me get that book up there, please? I can't reach it." It felt as though the clouds have parted and a beam of radiant light had lit up the land. I was dumbfounded for a split-second because it was my first and only encounter of a child demonstrating such politeness in public. The use of 'could' rather than 'can' earned him an extra brownie point. But like I said, it never happened again.

Perhaps a redeeming point for these children is that once they reach their teens, I notice that they also become more altruistic. It's far more common for young adults to take part in social initiatives these days compared to my time (and I'm not all that old).
 
Old 12-19-2013, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lepillow View Post
Yes and no to the question in the title.

It actually doesn't take a wealthy family to afford a domestic helper in Singapore. It seems rather to be the norm, if anything. In some instances, I've observed that parents are fully capable of tending to their children and that the domestic helper is in fact, a supplementary addition for no apparent purpose.

On to the bit on misbehaving children. I do notice that children below the age of 12 in my country lack basic manners and it is, surprisingly, not a recent thing. I attribute this to negative influence from their parents so it's quite simply a case of 'monkey see, monkey do.' Rare is the child who exhibits great self-control in public by not swinging around the grab poles in trains. Rarer is the parent who bats an eyelid at that.

The only stirling example I can mention took place in a bookshop some years back -- and it never happened again. I was browsing a Tintin comic book when a boy perhaps no more than 12 years of age came up to me and said, "excuse me, could you help me get that book up there, please? I can't reach it." It felt as though the clouds have parted and a beam of radiant light had lit up the land. I was dumbfounded for a split-second because it was my first and only encounter of a child demonstrating such politeness in public. The use of 'could' rather than 'can' earned him an extra brownie point. But like I said, it never happened again.

Perhaps a redeeming point for these children is that once they reach their teens, I notice that they also become more altruistic. It's far more common for young adults to take part in social initiatives these days compared to my time (and I'm not all that old).
Yes Singaporeans aren't the most well-mannered or polite people. I mean, they're not like the Chinese who will push and shove and act boorishly, but customer service is generally poor (lack of smiles, gruff) and I don't feel a friendliness or warmth about the place. Indeed once on a uni trip some of my classmates asked why so few in Singapore seemed to smile and commented on the difference crossing the border into Malaysia. I remember one time I wanted to have a look at something at an electronics shop, and the owner was like 'you want to buy?' I said, well I just want to have a look, and he's like 'if you don't want to buy get out.' or something like that. Another time an older Chinese lady got annoyed at me when I didn't understand something she said in Chinese.

Of course, there are many friendly Singaporeans, but I feel as a whole, Singaporeans often seem pretty unhappy and grumpy.
 
Old 12-20-2013, 01:39 AM
 
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This phenomenon has existed for decades since the rise of Singapore's economy. Same phenomenon too in other parts of asia and the world when the economy rises.

However, Singapore has conscription for males which probably can improve young men's maturity.
 
Old 12-20-2013, 03:25 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lokeung) View Post
This phenomenon has existed for decades since the rise of Singapore's economy. Same phenomenon too in other parts of asia and the world when the economy rises.

However, Singapore has conscription for males which probably can improve young men's maturity.
Maybe there should be conscription for women too.
 
Old 12-21-2013, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Derby, Western Australia
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I wouldn't call it spoilt necessarily, the difficulties attached to the transient nature of maids/nannies is what I suspect to be a large part of the emotional issues that seem to run deep in my mothers family who came from a relatively well-off family from Singapore.

As a people Singaporeans are remarkably polite and civil in their interactions considering it's a very complex, pressure-cooker type society.
 
Old 12-21-2013, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulkiercupid View Post
I wouldn't call it spoilt necessarily, the difficulties attached to the transient nature of maids/nannies is what I suspect to be a large part of the emotional issues that seem to run deep in my mothers family who came from a relatively well-off family from Singapore.

As a people Singaporeans are remarkably polite and civil in their interactions considering it's a very complex, pressure-cooker type society.
My father came from a relatively well-off family, his mum was from a wealthy Peranakan family in Penang, so he lived in a spacious bungalow/townhouse and had servants. Even he realises that the fact he had servants from a young age makes him used to ordering people around lol...my mother, from a working class family of 10 (my grandmother was illiterate and did odd jobs as well as looking after the children, my grandfather was a bus driver) of course had a very different experience, and has a very different experience from this generation of Singaporean children. Of course many aren't like how I describe, but it's something I've noticed.
 
Old 12-21-2013, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,228,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulkiercupid View Post
I wouldn't call it spoilt necessarily, the difficulties attached to the transient nature of maids/nannies is what I suspect to be a large part of the emotional issues that seem to run deep in my mothers family who came from a relatively well-off family from Singapore.

As a people Singaporeans are remarkably polite and civil in their interactions considering it's a very complex, pressure-cooker type society.
Polite...maybe the more westernised ones, but a lot of the more Asian influenced ones are pretty gruff...in the west we'd say they lack people skills, but I think it's just a cultural difference. Saying 'please, thankyou, and sorry' just isn't a premium in the businesslike world of much of Asia.
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