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Education

We need to talk about Hong Kong’s potty-mouthed, spoilt children

  • Parents naturally wish to give their children the best in life, but some of them can have a too-permissive parenting style
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2019, 6:40pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2019, 6:39pm

It is with concern that I write to express my views on the poor manners of Hong Kong children, who have often been criticised for their appalling behaviour in public, especially their use of foul language. Parents and schools need to take heed and tackle the problem.

Ill-mannered children can often be seen acting out in public. Not long ago, I saw a kindergarten student yelling for ice-cream at a McDonald’s. She grumbled about her father not buying her ice-cream and she even swore loudly. To my astonishment, the father eventually bought ice-cream for his daughter, despite her disrespectful behaviour. Another time, I saw a primary school student roll his eyes at his mother when she refused to order what he wanted, then pointing a finger at her and using foul language. What drives children to go as far as to shout at their parents in public is worth discussing.

Parents undeniably wish to give their children the best in life. That said, some of them have a too-permissive parenting style. It is inevitable that working parents will feel torn between their children and their jobs. It comes as no surprise that work takes up a big part of their lives, at the expense of time they can spend with their kids. It follows that they might overcompensate by doting on their children and tolerating misbehaviour. But, in trying to show their love, they fail to send out the right message on the need to be courteous at all times.

Kong Lok Son, Tseung Kwan O