PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 February, 2011, 12:00am

No more 'Kong Kids', please

Some Hong Kong children have been labelled Kong Kids, the local equivalent of the mainland's Little Emperors.

Pampered by parents and foreign domestic helpers, they are unable to look after themselves. They don't do any housework, and rely completely on other people.

When they grow up and leave home, they will not know how to solve everyday problems. Their parents' protective actions will have backfired, producing the opposite of the desired result.

Local children should be taught basic skills of daily life, along with the school curriculum. Parents should let them fend for themselves sometimes. I hope we will see an end to Kong Kids.

Koby Lui, Christian Alliance S.C. Chan Memorial College

Stop eating shark's fin soup

There a huge demand for shark's fin soup in Hong Kong, especially during the Lunar New Year. Many people love to eat the delicacy while others say we should stop the cruel practice.

To many Hongkongers, shark's fin soup is a traditional cuisine and the best dish to serve relatives at formal Lunar New Year meals. But the way fins are removed from sharks is inhumane.

Cutting off the fins causes them extreme pain. A shark without its fin cannot swim and soon drowns. Imagine having your legs or hands cut off and being left all alone. What could you do? Shark's fin soup is tasty but not essential. We should not eat it just to satisfy meaningless wants.

Greenpeace suggests we change our attitude to help the planet. We can ask restaurants to stop serving shark's fin soup; encourage friends and relatives to do without it; and urge others to protect endangered species like sharks.

If everyone does a little bit to protect our environment, the earth will become more beautiful and healthy. Starting from this Lunar New Year, I have decided not to eat shark's fin soup.

Carrie Ng, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School

The puzzle of the 'tiger mother'

I am concerned about the 'tiger mother' issue, raised in articles about Amy Chua and her view that Chinese mothers are superior.

I see pros and cons in both Chinese and Western approaches to parenting. Chinese parents tend to be strict. They produce children who are more self-disciplined, but also whose childhoods and probably entire lives are already decided for them.

Western parents focus more on youngsters' self-esteem, using encouragement rather than punishment. This strengthens children's creativity and critical thinking, but makes them more likely to resist parents' restrictions. Neither style of parenting is perfect.

Childhood should not be all about studying. It's also important to learn how to socialise and care about the community. I hope parents will learn to understand their children better and teach them to be more considerate of others.

Chan Yuet-ching, YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College

Why we doze off during lessons

Students sometimes doze off during lessons. I think one cause is the boring teaching methods used in most schools. Students are told to calculate, read aloud, pay attention, and so on - none of which holds any fun or interest for us.

I think schools should use games to keep students interested. They could expand lunch breaks, letting students rest and restore their attention and energy for upcoming lessons. Teachers should not just blame students who fall asleep; they ought to consider why it happens.

Tiffany Pang Hoi-ting, St Paul's Co-educational College

Ice cream ruined my iPod dream

I am overweight. Three months ago my mum promised to buy me an iPod Touch if I brought my weight down to 58kg. I was excited since I was eager to have the gadget.

For the next two months I played a lot of basketball and never visited the tuck shop.

My classmates encouraged me to lose weight, too. I even dreamed about my new iPod.

But when I reached 60kg, a cup of rich ice cream undid all my hard work. Now I hate the stuff: it made me realise how fattening a cup of ice cream can be.

Yeung Yat-fung