Sunday, 18 August 2013

Is society getting less tolerant towards kids?

I was out for lunch with colleagues from our neighbouring country and during our much topics of discussion, one topic stopped me and gets me pondering. It was about family with kids and how they behave in public. Since I was the only 'family guy' there, I was greatly out-numbered.

It all started when we were praising how good their country is; the stable economy, high currency exchange and safe environment. But being a father with two kids, my comment was that the country is not 'child-friendly'.

During our last holiday there on Boxing Day, everywhere was packed and we have to push the stroller weaving the kids through the crowd. The uncouth crowd. We were given unfriendly stares and no one offered help when I have to lift the stroller to navigate a flight of stairs. My boy nearly got a scolding from a man when he accidentally stepped on his shoe while climbing a packed flight of stairs. In Malaysia, though we do not get much good rating, I still give us a thumbs up whereby people will still help others and give a smile.

My colleague told me that if you think that place is not suitable and there's lots of people, you should not push a stroller and instead carry your child. I only can give him a simple reply that he does not understand because he does not have a family yet.

At that moment, it got to me. Is our society getting less tolerant with kids?

He went on commenting about how families with kids behave in public and they should be more considerate to others. One incident he mentioned, a small boy needed to take a call of nature in the MRT and the mother proceeded to ask him to pee in a plastic bottle. My colleagues started calling the mother uncivilised and that she should have told the boy to hold until the next station. But to me, I would have done the same. A child is a child. When they need to take nature's call, they don't have the ability to hold like us adults yet. It's better to let him pee in the bottle than him embarrassing himself all over the floor which will get more negative comments.

Another incident that he mentioned was children crying in public places and parents should not bring them out if they don't behave. What is a parents to do? Lock the child up at home and reason with them like adults and talk until the cow comes home? COME ON. They are kids and if they can act and reason like an adult, it would be scary. Don't rob their innocent childhood from them. Moreover, which parents like their kids crying in public. Don't you think we feel embarrassed and at times loss of control of the moment? 

This is not the first time that I have heard about their intolerance towards kids. Even parents with families find their child a burden because they simply couldn't take the pressure and the life that they have to give up. These comments comes from friends who are living at that country. I'm not generalising that all of them are like that but I'm seeing this trend in society especially in developed countries.

Now I truly understand the reason behind their government encouraging childbirths to increase their population. Look around and appreciate the things around us. Look at the innocence of a child and relish on your childhood. Don't let the stress and pressure of our modern society blinds you from humanity.

No comments:

Post a Comment