One-fifth of HK parents under too much strain at home, survey finds, leaving little time to ask children about their problems

21-May-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

One in five parents feel they are struggling with home life, according to a survey published by an INGO on Sunday.

Of the 509 parents of kindergarten, primary and secondary children polled by the Hong Kong Institute of Family Education, 22.4 per cent said they were under a lot of pressure on the domestic front.

The main causes of the stress were their children’s emotions (29.1 per cent) and studies (27.7 per cent), the survey conducted from April to May this year found.

A total of 11.9 per cent of all respondents said they spent two hours or more each day with their children on homework in the past three months.

However, 10.2 per cent said they did not dedicate any of the day talking to their children about worries in the past three months, while 16.1 per cent said they spent only one to 15 minutes doing so each day.

Tik Chi-yuen, chief executive of the non-governmental organisation, said: “It is not ideal for the family relationships when parents who are under huge amounts of pressure focus on their children’s studies and neglect communication and exercise.”

He recalled the case of a family of four who all had to visit a psychiatrist because their younger daughter was being too harsh on her own academic performance, despite it being of a good standard.

Tik added the daughter felt high expectations from her parents, such as having to perform well musically and becoming a prefect.

The survey also found that 34.5 per cent worked 46 hours or more each week for the past three months, while 37.9 per cent said they were not working.

Thirty-three per cent of the respondents said they felt their family relationships were affected a lot by their work.

Tik urged businesses to be less rigid about their work arrangements, through measures such as home-working and flexible hours.

With 24.3 per cent of parents not working also facing significant pressure, he suggested widening social circles by participating in activities like yoga and painting.


Category: Hong Kong

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