Monday, 12 December 2016

Do Parents really love their kids?

What is love? To me, to love someone means to think about their welfare, not only for the immediate future, but for the long term.

Recently, I have been talking to many people, and hearing their stories regarding housing. As someone who has recently bought a home, I find that Singapore is still a very Asian society, where parents do impose their thinking on their children (even if they are not paying for it!). I guess if that's for the good of the children, it's okay. But many a times, I feel that the decisions that parents force on their kids, are more for their own desire/ needs, rather than for the welfare of their children. As such, sometimes, I wonder in these cases, do parents really love their children?

The following are some stories that I heard recently, which set me thinking.

Story 1:
Peter is 65 years old. His children are all married, and moved out. Their 5- room flat now lives him, his wife, and his wife's parents. According to him, their 5- room flat has a market value of at least S$600,000.

Peter now works as a cab driver to support the 4 of them. He has sloughed all his life for the family, and would like to have a good life at this age. His plan is to sell the 5- room flat, and downgrade to a three room flat, where the 2 pairs of couples will each have their own room. With that, he expects to have a few hundred thousand in cash to fund his retirement. However, his in- laws are not willing to do so. They felt that they have lived in this place forever, and will not be familiar with any other place (though according to Peter, they seldom go out). Peter's parents- in- law refused to move. Being filial, Peter obliged. 

Peter continues working 12 hours a day as a taxi driver.

Story 2:
John is an only son. His parents were not well to do, and depend on the allowance John gives them monthly. His parents had lived in a HDB flat (government subsidised housing in Singapore) for decades, and over the years, have had an MRT (mass rapid transport or subway) and a shopping mall built right next to it. 

John is getting married, and intends to buy a HDB flat. His parents expect him to buy a flat at a stone throw's from their place. Anything more than a 5 minutes walk from their home is atrocious. The problem is, the place where his parents lived in has such a strategic location, and as such property here is considered extremely expensive for John and his wife. In order to appease John's parents. John (a person with a normal salary) and his wife are forced to get more loan on a flat. 


  1. Parents are either asset or liability to their children

    1. Children are either asset or liability to parents, too.
      Seems fair.

    2. As modern parents; we should be financially savvy enough not to depend on our children for retirement. Good luck to those children whose parents think that their children are their assets.

    3. It's Asian mentality that parents depend on children for retirement.

      My gut feel is that the working group people for now are the last generation to be taking care of their parents, aka sandwich. As we get more westernised, with higher cost of living, and with better education (financially), the next generation of retirees will be mainly supporting themselves.