Monday, April 9, 2007

1. “The family has suffered at the expense of career in Singapore society.” Is this a fair comment?

In Singapore, it is common to find both parents working in order to raise the family and due to this the family is sometimes neglected and is caused to suffer. However, some families could not just depend on a sole breadwinner to ‘bring home the bacon’, as it is sometimes not sufficient to raise a family with only one source of income. Hence, the comment that families have suffered due to the expense of career of parents is not fair to a large extent.
The comment is not fair because over the years we could see that parents are now more career-oriented in Singapore. Since the 1980s-1990s, there has been a 93% increase in the numbers of working mothers and fathers. If there is an increase in such a trend of dual working parents, then it signifies that families are not suffering as more families are going towards and keeping such a trend. Moreover, it is unfair to say that due to career being a priority in the family, the family suffers because with two sources of income coming from both parents, the family is able to live a better and much more comfortable life. The family is given much more financial stability and the children will be able to live a more luxurious life. For example, they are not forced to work at such young age like in certain third world countries so as to help raise the family. Children also get the chance to go on holidays and have the opportunity to take up an enrichment course like ballet or art. In the past, men were the sole breadwinner and if he got retrenched, then the family’s livelihood would start disintegrating and fall into serious financial crisis. However, with dual working parents, the family is more stabilized and the probability that the family would fall into a crisis when the father loses his job is lessened. Therefore, the statement is unfair, as with greater emphasis on career in a family, the family will be more stable and will not suffer financially.
In addition, families are not suffering at the expense of career in Singapore because there are policies made in Singapore to ensure that the family can spend quality time together. For instance, the five day work week is catered for families to spend time together. This illustrates that though career is placed as a priority in Singapore, time is still given for the family to bond together and be able to communicate with one another. Thus, it is not fair to say that the family suffers at the expense of career because the family is not neglected as there is time allocated for families to engage in activities to spend time together. Furthermore, the government arranges family days to ensure and encourage that the family spends time together. Maternity leave is also given to a mother so that she has time to spend with her baby. Thus, it is unfair to say that the family suffers at the expense of career as there are many avenues for the family to spend time together. It is only dependent on the willingness of each member of the family to take the spare time they have to relate with one another to prevent the family from suffering.
On the other hand, the statement is fair because due to the over emphasis on career in Singapore, children do not get to spend their most important periods of their lives with their parents. Due to parents working, it is necessary for them to seek external help to care for their children. Their children are either sent to day care centers, or are being cared by their grandparents or neighbours or even maids. Many children are placed at day care centers and this causes the child to receive little love and minimal attention. Such treatment is not beneficial for the child’s growth as the child may grow up thinking that no one loves him and may turn to bad influences when he is older. Moreover, when the child is placed at the day care center, his parents will miss the child’s most important growing up stages like learning how to walk and write. By being cared by maids, the child may not be well taken care of as the maid will not treat the child as her own and may not give the child proper care. When parents are out at work, they sometimes come back home only at the wee hours of the morning. This would definitely lead to a lack of communication between parents and their children and eventually lead the family to suffer as the family is not bonded. Communication enhances and keeps a family together, thus, with no communication the family forms a weak relationship with one another. Values that the parents want to impart to his child could not be imparted and the child may not know where to find emotional and moral support with the lack of communication. Therefore, we could see that if the family pays to much attention on career, the family suffers as the family may lack in communication and spending quality time together, leading the family bonds to be weak.
I conclude that, the statement is unfair to a large extent. Though the family may suffer at the expense of career, as parents may be too busy at their work and overlook their families, this problem could be overcame. As long as the family works together and puts in effort to spend time together, the family could stay strong. Furthermore, the statement is unfair as the family would not suffer if it was financially stable and if parents knew how to balance their work time and family time.


External Sources:
http://essayrep.is-there.net/the-family-in-singapore/
http://www.singstat.gov.sg/papers/op/op-s2.pdf

1 comment:

Anneke said...

Interesting to know.