source : The Straits Times, 1.11.2014
There’s something horrible happening behind closed doors in many Singapore homes, and it’s going to get worse.
More elderly people are being abused physically and financially, most often by their own sons and daughters. Social workers are seeing cases of children who demand money from their aged parents, and some who even sell their parents’ homes, take the money and disappear.
The victims are mostly widows.
This picture by Neo Xiaobin is of a woman we’ll call Madam Tan in The Sunday Times. She wept as she told Radha Basu about the physical abuse she has endured at the hands of her son and his wife, who live in her flat and have made her life a misery. “Sometimes I feel so so scared that I cannot sleep at night,” she said.
As Singapore ages, a new law is being planned to protect vulnerable people like her.
If you know of an elderly person who is being abused at home, don’t look away.
Tell someone so help can come.
- Decades ago, without technology to bridge the distance family members talked about anything face to face.
Then they talked about anything through letters. Next, they talked about anything through the telephone. Next, they talked about anything throughSMS.
With the smartphone full of apps family members tried talking to friends, plenty of friends through the many apps that came with the phone. Lesser time for family members to communicate face-on with each other. The bond has weaken. Only the typo has grown stronger.
Later another wonderful thing happened. Parents allow their children to get iPads, mobile phones and tablets in their early years and they glued to them over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lesser time for family bonding. What about app games as bonding tool? As the children have many friends, it is more exciting to app-gaming with friends.
When the parents become a single-person parent, the last holding factor disappears and if the child has not been in close contact of communication and expressions all these while, the bond of blood is only a liquid instead of kin-spirit.
All other things being equal …
- Singapore is going to be very successful economically, but fail badly socially in the future
- I literally want to slap the sh*t out of people who dare to even contemplate doing this to our elderly. I was never explicitly taught filial piety or respect for my elders, instead, watching my parents care for their parents instilled these values in me. I am proud of the fact that Singapore’s society treasures and upholds these values; I feel sick and ashamed by these people who abuse the elderly. Is this how Singapore treats her pioneers and trailblazers? Shocking and disgusting, I hope this new law commences soon and comes down hard on the vermin who treat the elderly with disrespect. No one should live in fear of their own children!
- Unfortunately, this is something this is not something that only happens in Singapore. It happens to much in my own country, and in countries all over the world. I believe, the bottom line is the home, the values you teach your children in your home. My mother raised that family was the most the important people in your life. I remember constantly visiting family members, going to family gatherings. My world growing up revolved around my family, more than my friends. I am now an adult. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and when he became bedridden, I decided to quit my job to help take care of him. I worked from home, my salary was not good, did not earn a lot of money, but when my father passed away 2 months ago, even though I still grieve for him, I have peace that comes with the satisfaction that I did all I could for him. I have no regrets. I take no credit, because like Michelle Lee said, I learned by watching my mom take care of others, specially the elderly in the family that had no children. It all always goes back to the home.
- Parents should also watch themselves as role models for filial piety.. Your children are watching your every move.. How you treat the elderly or others will result in how they treat you and others..
- That’s what’s wrong with our school system. All academic and no values inbued into our children…the nation is so materialistic and self centred.
- When it comes to values, the national schools should only be the safety net. Its the parents who should take up this responsibility. Its also the parents, in due time, who will benefit, or suffer if they neglect this responsibility.
- ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’. Coming soon is a much physically weaker younger generation. I’ve seen countless times, kids old enough to walk on their own eg age 10 in a stroller. Sometimes I’ll sound the child for that but my wife will ask me to mind our own business. But to me, I’ll do what I can because these children will grow up to be the next leaders and soldiers etc and I want them to be strong for Singapore.
- I find it amusing that alot of people here are blaming everything but themselves. Family values should be imparted by parents. You go to a child care centre or nursery and see. ….when a child gets cranky, alot of them will not be calling out daddy or mummy…..they would be calling out auntie. ….which is their maid…….so how much bonding does a child have with their parents? Starting a family is never easy and sacrifices must be made……it’s either ones career or ones bonding with their own kids.
- This is so sad. What a horrific way to end your life after having sacrificed (most parents do) to make a better life for their children.
- Abusive children can be the product of either abusive parents, an overly entitled upbringing as well as a myriad of social influences. I find it unsettling that some feel abusive children are principally products of abusive parents. It does great injustice to innocent parents are may already suffering deeply from this abuse.
- There are many factors involved in this sorry state of things, one of which, unfortunately, are the lenient parents. It really takes a village to raise a child and we should help when we see that something is not right with our neighbours. It could be just a simple question, asking the elderly how was their day. Don’t hesitate to do the right thing if you sense that there seems to be a case of abuse. Our children will see how we act and treat us the way we conduct ourselves.