PARENTS’ aspirations for their children to achieve have become more intense and that has led to couples thinking twice before having kids, said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing.
“Expectations have clearly changed. In the past, it was first have the kid and then figure out how to bring up the kid. Now it’s the other way around,” said Chan, who was speaking at at a family empowerment lecture at the Singapore Expo organised by Jamiyah Singapore.
Speaking to 3,000 parents at the event, Chan recounted how an elderly couple he had met were proud of their six children, who are graduates and own their own homes now. Their children had shared food and beds while growing up in a one-room flat.
But when asked if the couple had any grandchildren, they sternly told Chan that their children were concerned about the cost of having kids, even though they are better off today.
Chan also pointed out other challenges Singapore families face today. As a small country, he said that Singapore’s cultural values will be affected by new value systems across the globe. Family sizes are also getting smaller over the years.
To help keep families intact, Jamiyah’s president Mohd Hasbi Abu Bakar said its recently renovated Jamiyah Counselling Centre is one avenue in which the organisation is reaching out to couples with relationship issues.
One in two of the 120 marital counselling cases handled by the centre monthly has resulted in a couple reconciling. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network