Deterrents to having a family need fixing

The socio-economic environment in Hong Kong is more likely to deter rather than encourage having a family. Photo: Warton Li

Who would have thought Hong Kong would be one of the world's top 10 places to be born in the coming year? Bewildering as it sounds, that is the international community's latest entry in our list of accolades.

Sunday, 9 December, 2012, 3:06am

Insight: cherish the older generation

Both old and young need support from family members. Photo: Corbis

My father celebrated his 83rd birthday in November. Despite his advanced age, he works full time and is financially independent. He had enjoyed good health for more than 80 years, but unfortunately he was diagnosed with diabetes last year.

9 Dec 2012 - 1:43pm

Birth order in family dynamics

Therese Tee is your archetypal first born - self-assured, driven, organised. When her parents divorced seven years ago, for instance, she worked carefully to ensure their paths did not cross at family events. And as the eldest of four siblings, she has always shouldered the responsibilities of her family.

2 Dec 2012 - 3:53pm

Dealing with sibling rivalry

Dealing with sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry didn't exist in our household. My two daughters had been sharing a bedroom for more than a year. They played nicely. The camera caught countless instances of the two of them in a warm embrace. I felt blessed to be a part of this. That is, until my younger daughter figured out she had been getting the short end of the stick and started to tell me. Very loudly.

21 Oct 2012 - 11:30am

Elderly need neighbours, not paid buddies, says ageing expert

Elderly need neighbours, not paid buddies, says ageing expert

A paid buddy system for the elderly is one option to alleviate pressure on the city's aged-care services, but a better model is one that encourages simply being a good neighbour, says a specialist in ageing.

14 Oct 2012 - 4:13am

Up Close & Personal: Life after a stroke

Illustration: Pearl Law

Life took an unexpected turn on the morning of October 7 two years ago. That was when my husband, Dave, had a stroke. Apart from some complaints about a sore throat the previous day, his health appeared good. He got up for work as usual and was in the bathroom when the stroke happened.

14 Oct 2012 - 11:01am

Relationships: how to stop siblings fighting

Photo: Corbis

My two sons, aged seven and nine, don't get along. They seem to find something to fight about on a daily basis. It's exhausting. I've tried scolding them, shouting at them. I don't know whether I should spank them, as my parents did me. Any advice?

Siblings often don't get on. You've managed to exercise restraint so far; shouting and smacking children won't solve it.

30 Sep 2012 - 3:16pm

Relationships: Boundaries vital for children's growth

Illustration: Corbis

Tessa and Julian are having trouble with their three children. "I feel constantly exhausted," says Tessa. "I've been trying to get my children to listen to me, but everything is a battle and I end up giving in."

23 Sep 2012 - 10:20am

Son names and shames father in paternity suit

Son names and shames father in paternity suit

Among Rohit Shekhar's earliest childhood memories are visits from a kindly "uncle" who would come to his mother's Delhi home, bringing him snazzy pencil boxes and chocolates, and sing Hindi movie songs to him.

17 Sep 2012 - 9:19am

'Postmen' reconnect inter-Korea families

A world map, with the Korean peninsula in red, is fixed to the wall at a hotel reception in Rason City, northeast of Pyongyang. Photo: Reuters

In a cramped and tiny office in the South Korean capital, an 80-year-old man displays letters postmarked "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" in pale red ink.

The imprints with North Korea's official name testify to Kim Kyung-Jae's success in reconnecting some of the tens of thousands of family members separated for decades by the world's last Cold War frontier.

27 Aug 2012 - 5:38am

Tom Cruise to pay US$4.8m for daughter's child support

Tom Cruise to pay US$4.8m for daughter's child support

Holmes gets nothing but Cruise to pay child support

26 Aug 2012 - 10:21am

Baby milk legislation to be speeded up

The government will speed up legislation to close loopholes that exempt baby food from nutrition-labelling rules in the wake of tests that showed two brands of Japanese baby formula lacked a nutrient vital to brain development.

15 Aug 2012 - 11:15pm

Paternity leave can improve employee loyalty while helping to increase birth rate

There have been calls for statutory paternity leave to be introduced in Hong Kong.

This is partly because the birth rate in the city is falling and there are demands to provide more incentives for couples to start a family. One incentive would be statutory leave for new fathers. I would support the enacting of such legislation.

15 Aug 2012 - 10:54pm


Racial prejudice must be overcome

Mother to Son, a poem by Langston Hughes, is a symbol of the struggle by blacks in America.

27 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

How to keep parenting, after divorce

Kathleen and Rick recently separated after 14 years of marriage. Both had initially thought it would be better to stay together for the sake of their children, Alan, seven, and Rebecca, 13. But their constant arguments have had a detrimental effect on the youngsters. Rebecca seems emotionally and physically drained. She's not sleeping well and doesn't eat much.

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am