Income no gauge of parenting ability

There seems to be a perception that low-income parents are "incompetent".

Good parenting cannot be bought with money. Income does not determine how well a person does as a parent.

Instead, good parenting is about how invested you are in your child's physical and mental growth.

Living in a low-income family environment is not necessarily a bad thing. Children learn to be more diligent because of their financial difficulties. They are also moulded to become more resilient and hard-working.

In a democratic society like Singapore, opportunities are offered to everyone worthy of them. Children from low-income families are given help to break free from the vicious circle of poverty.

The belief that abuse and neglect happen only in low-income families is also a myth.

Abuse and neglect can happen in families of any income range. According to a report by the then Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports in 2005, about 25 per cent of abuse cases involved families earning more than $4,000 a month.

Another stereotype circulating in our community is that low-income divorced parents tend to be abusive. This is also erroneous.

The same report showed that about half of child abuse cases came from nuclear two-parent families.

Society should not judge people at face value; affluence does not determine one's character and parenting abilities.

Neo Wee Shi, 14, Secondary 3 student


CALLING YOUNG READERS:

If you are 21 or below and want to air your opinion on any article or letter in The Straits Times, e-mail your letter to stforum@sph.com.sg, with the header "Voices of Youth". Do include your age, educational level and contact details, and the headline of the article/letter you refer to.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2016, with the headline 'Income no gauge of parenting ability'. Print Edition | Subscribe