Forum: Social changes affecting family values

Mothers should consider themselves lucky if their children have planned for them a good meal to celebrate Mother's Day (Don't remember mum only on Mother's Day, May 6).

Although I subscribe to the policy that young adults should look after their aged parents and show them concern, we should view this issue in perspective.

Many families are stressed by the demands of modern life, and social and demographic changes are affecting family values.

Economic factors may be forcing some people to "neglect" their parents. Dealing with the high cost of living and work demands that entail long hours in the workplace leaves little time to care for and spend time with family members. It is worse if a parent has health problems and requires constant care.

Singaporeans generally believe it is their filial duty to care for their parents, and most would like to show more care and concern if they can.

Importantly, elderly people staying with their family or on their own must realise that their demands and behaviour may create unnecessary problems. They may need to discard the age-old notion that they can dictate how their children take care of them.

Whatever the situation may be, it is important for young adult families to stay in touch with their elderly parents, and visit them regularly or, better still, live with them.

No institution can replace the love and warmth of family members.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

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