Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hair Cut for Secondary Student

My son is in Sec 1 this year. Yesterday, he mentioned that his hair was a tad too long and needed a hair cut as the teacher would do check the next day. That was about 5.30 pm. He even asked me to cut his bangs and shorten his hair around the years to pass the inspectioin. Being the kiasu mom, I took him to a hairdresser yesterday and told her to cut it short. Imagine my indignation when my son told me that the DM said his hair cut/style was not suitable. Need to be a straight cut at the nape and not a V-shape. Isn't it ridiculous?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

ERP and Baby Woes

The two issues that hit me this week was ERP and MM's view on the Baby problem in Singapore. First let me tackle the Baby Issue. I came from a large family. I have 6 siblings, 5 brothers and 1 sister. My two elder brothers each has 6 daughters. My third brother, a boy and a girl. My fourth brother 1 daughter. My sister and younger brother are unmarried. I have two boys and 1 girl. In terms of population contribution, my generation generated a 2.57 replacement ratio (18/7). Yet in it's heyday, my two brothers were slammed with fines after fines for daring to go beyond "2 is enough". Do they have any compensation? No. Did they have quality lifestyle? No. My nieces grew up in 2-bedroom HDB flats. Imagine all 6 girls squeezing in one room! Did they have any preferential treatments for schooling? Did they do well in schools coming from such a background? Yes and No. A few went to University (Not well enough to get scholarship or bursary). So the burden was on my brothers to foot the bill. Can they afford it? Barely. In those days, competition was not like what it's like today. Their main stress : Earn enough to feed the children. Education : Up to their natural ability. Tuition - No such luxury. Enrichment classes - you must be joking!! Maids ??? - My sister-in-laws basically stayed at home to look after them.

Now my nieces are grown up and contributing to society. 10 of them are married. They have 16 children between them. Replacement ratio of 1.6. Their concerns today are children's education. They spent their hard earned money on sending their young children to enrichment classes and tuition classes. Do they have time for more children? No. Are they stressed? Definitely. Knowing that education is key to tomorrow's success, they were rushed back from work and then rush their children for classes. Is this quality bonding time for them? What do you think? And because they have to ferry the children to and fro from classes, do they have any choice but to have a car? And now with all the ERPs gantries going up and nobody business, what is the impact on them?

Come to my case. I have three children. Unfortunately, I was one of those who never follow the government's timing of when to have more children. I married a bit late so I was not rewarded with baby bonus and such. Because I gave birth to my third kid, I was given some tax credit. I stopped work a few years. My husband took a few years off to do own business. When he tried to use the tax credits - they have expired? Were we informed? No? Do our third child expired? No.. So why the expiration of the tax credit? Is it more expensive today to rear a child? Definitely yes.

As with my nieces, I worry about my children's education. So tuition classes and enrichment classes are also in their landscape. We don't mind really because we value our children and we want the best for them. Do we look to the government to give us rewards? No.

What is frustrating to me is the eruption of ERPs everywhere in town. I am always conscious of cost and had tried to avoid gantries whenever possible. If possible, I will not go into town when the ERPs are on. But no, to my horror and stress (which led to my heart palpitations..), I had to pay for ERPs whenever I sent my children for classes. They have attended these classes since young. To send them to their enrichment class now, I have to pay $4/- because I passed the gantry after 7 pm. Do I want to go? No. Do I have to go? Yes. There is no easy bus route no easy access to MRT from my place. My kid got to change MRTs and walk to where his classes are held? Would you ask your P4 child to do that at 5 pm so as to reach his class at 7 pm?

On top of that, with ERP timing from 6-8 pm, are you asking the parents to leave office before 6 pm (would employers be happy) or come home after 8 pm (when kids are ready for bed). Are you asking kids to accept that and would be parents to accept such arrangements.

I think, the government need to take a holistic view on some of the policies. One policy of restricting car usage do have an impact on another policy of having more children. For frankly, if we do not have children, we will be less inclined to have a car.

We are not asking for a lot of things. But I feel the government should do if they want parents to have children and have quality time with our children is to lessen such pain to us, such incidental cost just add on to our woes and stress.

Perhaps the government should tax individuals who value more free time and have no children and subsidised those who are contributing to society by have more than two children. This is because ultimately, it would be these children who will support them when they are old. If they do not want to spend time and effort to raise youngs, then they should at least help those who like children but may be constrained because cost.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Anymore Babies?

My eight year old son : "Mom, why is it we do not have anymore babies. David (older brother) and Kassandra (sister) are only one and a half year apart. I am already eight and it's a long time to wait for the baby. So when is the baby coming?"

Mom: speechless....

My Citizenship??

My eight year old boy asked his dad : "Dad, why am I a Chinese and not an English?" (My husband is British)
Dad: "Because your mom is Chinese and she is a Singaporean."
Son : "But I am a boy. Boy and Boy (man) goes together, right. So since you are British and I come from you, I should be British right?"

Dad -- speechless.....

The innocence of youth....