Parenting Tips

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baby Boom or Gloom in Singapore

In World news of today's Straits Times, there were 2 articles - one on "BABY BOOM in France" and the other on WEDDING GLOOM in the US". What irony?

For the first article, the France government had attributed the increase in population growth to its family-friendly polices, such as:
  • Offer of Euro 750 (S$1,500) a month to parents who take one year of unpaid leave after the birth of a 3rd child;
  • Large families get shopping discounts;
  • They also enjoy reduced fares on public transport;
  • French fathers are also guaranteed paid paternity leave.
Although the Singapore government also provide incentives to encourage parents to have more children, we have yet to see the fruits desired yet.

While sharing this news with my youngest daughter, she also related what happened in class today. The teacher was asking them who were the only child and how many have 2/3/4 children in their family. Guess what? My girl was the only one who has 3 other siblings. Many parents are still reluctant to have more than 3 children and I think this trend will continue.

For the 2nd article, the census shows that more American women now live without a spouse than with one. For Singapore, although this may not be the case, many career women prefer to remain single. The same goes for many men who choose to be free of marital commitments. How sad!

For my 4 children (3 girls and 1 boy), I do not know what they have in mind. All I ask is that they be happy and enjoy their school lives for now.


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