Teaching healthy values a mammoth task

The promotion of healthy values ("Promote healthy family units to break cycle of offending" by Mr Kuharajahsingam Karalasingam; Dec 28, 2016) goes beyond helping couples get jobs, so as to attain financial security.

Poor values do not necessarily stem from unemployment and financial inadequacy.

There are well-to-do families who are totally dependent on foreign domestic maids and who believe that maids need not be respected, as they are paid labour.

I have seen children who eat in front of the television and leave a mess on the living room table - crumbs, unfinished food and packaging - for the maid to clean up after them.

At the dinner table, fish bones and food crumbs are spat on the table, again for the maids to clean up, together with the crockery, cutlery and unfinished food.

I once asked one of the children why he leaves a mess for the maid to clean up, and he replied that it is what his father does.

To this child, this is normal behaviour. And parents will always think that their parenting styles are correct.

If there is a grandchild in the family, how is he going to be different? The adults in the family set poor examples and he will not be exposed to good values. So, it is a mammoth challenge.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan