Children not necessarily an insurance for old age

By Zhang Yuning Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/6 19:53:41

Illustrations: Peter C. Espina/GT

Does a child have the right to know and have relations with his/her biological parents? Numerous such questions and answers can be sought out on the internet. Yet the converse of this question can hardly be found.

It makes sense. There may be a long list of reasons that can separate a kid from biological parents, but when it happens, the decision has already been made by the parents in most cases. Period. They have nothing more to do with the child's future. Yet recently, a Chinese mom, surnamed Wang from Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province, hit the headlines. She wanted to re-establish ties with her son, whom she sent away for adoption 34 years ago.

By "re-establishing ties" Wang means demanding money from her son. "He earns 550,000 yuan ($80,180) a year," she emphasized, adding her son showed no filial piety for refusing to answer her calls as she is living a penniless life while the businesses of her other two sons, whom she raised, are failing.

Most netizens were disappointed with Wang. They believe the money her son is earning has nothing to do with her. The son is living a decent life all thanks to his foster parents, yet the biological mother is turning into a vampire, some of them sighed.

Yet Wang showed no sign of giving up. She turned to media in order to pile more pressure on her son, but was met with public outrage and derision.

Her logic is simple - "I gave you life so you are obliged to look after me." She must have forgotten her obligation to raise her son after giving him birth. Not to mention her outdated mind-set - raising a child as insurance for old age - is being shunned by new generations of Chinese parents.

They believe education is the best gift they can give their little ones. It can help build character and be the key to happiness, as well as give them the fortitude to face the misfortunes of life calmly.

Nowadays, they love their children unconditionally, for who they are, not for what they do. They believe that love is not tradable, and certainly not something to be exchanged for financial security provided by children in old age.

In the view of older generation of Chinese, the aim of education is to turn children into successful people. The concept still has takers in many parts of the country, yet changes are emerging. An increasing number of young parents, biological or foster, tend to attach more significance to the happiness of their children and grooming them to live a life of gratitude in the future.

Such parental affection and outlook promotes children's well-being and a well-rounded personality, helping create a stronger bond between parent and child. Kids brought up by responsible foster parents are not perturbed by the fact that they have been adopted or who their biological parents are, because they are confident and capable of facing the truth.

I am relieved to see Chinese netizens criticizing Wang, an irresponsible parent who failed to shoulder her responsibilities and is seeking to take much more than she once gave. But I am also heartened to see some rational voices among them, who noted that the choice lies with her son - whether he answers Wang's call or not.

The author is a freelancer in Beijing.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

blog comments powered by Disqus