Dear Editor,

I refer to The Independent Singapore’s featured news: “Give us a grandchild or give up your pet animal and family!” — SG mother threatens her son and wife, forcing them to have kids (June 16).

The declining birth rate has already become a globally prevalent phenomenon and a touchy subject that needs to be tackled by political leaders, especially in advanced economies, as having and raising kids is a long-term plan and complex issue.

It is not difficult to notice that as time advances and society becomes highly competitive, our younger married couples’ thinking, perception and focus towards their lives nowadays have increasingly become contemporary.

They are tempted to focus on how to make their lives better, more comfortable, and happier. Therefore, they pay more attention to their own career development and stability.

Hence, they weigh whether to strongly emphasise their career development/prospect or strike a balance in raising the next generation.

At the same time, these young couples also firmly believe that they will no longer be financially dependent on the next generation to support them, unlike the parents of the previous generation.

The matter of procreation and raising children needs and involves a pair of married couples to spend time thinking seriously about a few aspects:

1. Are married couples financially and mentally prepared to have children and willing to sacrifice their time and energy for the next generation’s well-being (including a child’s education and health)?

2. Are they psychologically and financially prepared to tackle or overcome all the obstacles and unexpected circumstances or challenges that occurred during the entire course of procreation and the child’s raising (including having an unhealthy or abnormal child)?

As elderly parents, it is best to leave such a major issue of having and raising a child to their son and daughters-in-law to make considerations and proper arrangements.

Teo Kueh Liang

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Independent Singapore

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