Who’s luckier: children with maids or children with moms?

I refer to the 19 May 2014 TR Emeritus article “Shanmugam: The values of our children”.

Mr Shanmugam claims that Singaporeans are lucky many of us have domestic help. But are we luckier than Westerners who earn twice as much as us and who can afford to have the wife stay at home to look after the children full time?

Would be good if we can conduct a survey or even a referendum about whether Singaporeans would like their salaries doubled while keeping cost of living the same so that the wife can afford to stay at home to look after the children full time.

Our 2013 median resident employed household income was $7,870 (Singstats) while our 2013 median gross monthly income (including CPF) from work for full time employed residents is $3,705 (MOM website). The ratio of median household income to median income from work is slightly more than two. This means that on average, most households comprise both husband and wife working to support the family.

If our median income from work can be doubled without affecting cost of living, Singaporeans can maintain their household income while allowing the wife stay at home to look after the children full time. Our dependence on maids will significantly reduce and the so-called compassion, kindness, consideration and the right values Mr Shanmugam wrote about can be passed on from generation to generation.

Were we happier and luckier growing up with our mothers around or are children today happier and luckier growing up with their maids around?


2 Responses to “Who’s luckier: children with maids or children with moms?”

  1. GingerBaker Says:

    you have missed shanmugam’s point — that we need to be considerate. as such, whether one has a mum at home or
    not, parents should be teaching their children to be considerate.

    i disagree with this govt on a very long list of issues, but fully agree
    with shanmugam on this.

    let’s face it, consideration is sorely lacking in spore today. I see
    it among many older folk, but much less among the younger crowd, and even less among the new rich.

    one can blame the govt for this, but at the end, such a basic
    value should be taught at home, by parents, Both parents, whether or not they work.

    • trulysingapore Says:

      I spoke to a student some time ago. He basically grew up with his grand parents as his parents were too busy working. You can see he behaves a bit strangely.

      The younger generation is behaving differently. You can’t blame all parents because all parents cannot be wrong together. Something systemic, something permeating throughout society is wrong that is the root of the problem.

      The government is the final arbiter of many things including cost of living. By deciding how many flats to build or how much land to release, it can control housing price and hence cost of living. The wage council makes recommendations on wages.

      By jacking up cost of living, Singaporean families are gradually being forced to become dual income to cope with the high cost of living. This has a significant impact on the quality of child rearing. If you choose to deny this, then you’re just deceiving yourself.

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