What elements can the HDB build into blocks and estates to promote mingling?
Put back round tables in void decks. Put back ping-pong tables. More minimarts in void decks. More street soccer courts instead of basketball courts.
Mingling is not what Singaporeans need any more. They wish to be isolated and don't want to be disturbed, like those who live in bungalows.
Just give us time and space, and keep the cost of living affordable. The mingling will automatically return.
Hazel Low Yushan
No major changes needed. In void decks, build chairs and tables for playing games such as chess. Better still, build mini community activity centres.
(On) the lift landing of every floor, add some seats and a small table. This can give residents an option to chit-chat or have group activities. It will also allow elderly residents to sit while waiting for lifts.
Bring the good old playground back and locate it centrally. Mingling starts with children as they are colour-blind. With more young couples moving into estates old and new, that's always a good starting point. As I write this, I can hear children running and playing together, and yes, there are Chinese, Indians, Malays, Caucasians and even the odd Korean kid. And the mothers and caregivers are there chatting too.
Squeezing many buildings very close (together) until you can see into each other's bedrooms and toilets creates an even greater need for privacy and personal space. That's not favourable to mingling at all.
Communal spaces have evolved over time. There are other communal spaces like roof gardens (who doesn't like more greenery?) and the precinct pavilions.
Should children be made to finish everything on their plate?
From my many observations when eating out, I am saddened to see large portions of food left uneaten by diners, only to turn into food waste.
If portion sizes are customised, I do not see any reason children cannot finish everything on their plate.
Hence, children should be made to finish everything on their plate.
Not all families can afford to not finish food on their plates.
What should instead be done is to teach children to like and enjoy healthy food, and exercise regularly.
I once saw this child order the most expensive thing on the menu, take one bite, and then say "Don't want already".
Make your children finish their food.
My parents never forced us to finish our food but we still have good practice. The issue is not forcing your children to finish their food but to teach them not to waste. Not only food but also in all other areas.
Teach them to count their blessings and not waste food. Take what you eat, eat what you take.
Habits must be cultivated from a young age. Parents must not over-feed kids, should observe regular meal times, should not allow snacking in between meals and should never use food as a reward.
At times, the portions served (when eating) outside may be too much for the child. So parents eat (the remainder). If parents can't (finish it), then (there is) no choice but to waste food.
My two children share one meal. I know they are not big eaters, so instead of wasting food, I make them share a meal.
If they eat at home, I give them small portions. If they are still hungry after finishing that meal, I give them a second helping.