By: Ben Matchap
So concerning all the rhetoric of having babies and starting families are young people in Singapore too self-centred to build a family?
Firstly I have to say that Singapore is quite a materialistic country, and not just the young people – Singaporeans in general have had at least some form of elitism beaten into them with our parents constantly telling us to study hard or else we will end up a rubbish cleaner.
Our school systems don’t help either. With so much emphasis on getting the highest marks in school, enrolling into the best schools and getting distinctions, it is pretty hard to blame young people for wanting to focus on their career.
Because when we enter the working world we realise that our grades don’t count as much as we were told, as we become more aware of the great grade lie we learn how getting contacts, a good portfolio and being able to adapt and learn new skills count for a lot more in the working world.
But we still feel the pressure to be successful in Singapore, and I’m not being sexist when I say that many men have grown up hearing “eh no money how to get girlfriend” while this may not be true. Many guys still feel self-conscious about going on dates when they cannot pay for both themselves and their date. This in turns deters many of them from even thinking about dating.
Also women nowadays are better educated and are in a better position as compared “the good old days” to chase their dreams and pursue their career. There is nothing wrong with choosing to be a mother, we are just living in a time where the greatest aspiration for a women isn’t to reproduce and wait for their husbands to come home, which is awesome.
I guess on some level we all try to reconcile with the lies of how good grades equals to high pay, by trying to work harder to achieve that level of success we feel we were suppose to have.
Another reason why many young people may not want to start a family first would be the high cost of living. If you cannot even feed yourself it is irresponsible and bad family planning to get married and have kids.
Instead of blaming the younger generation solely on the grounds of being too materialistic, maybe we also have to look at what they are up against. The cost of HDB flats has gone up while wages have not. To me this is one of the biggest obstacles to starting a family young.
Times have changed and i am pretty sure many of us don’t want to burden our parents by getting married and having a child only to cramp their already small HDB flat.
To put it simple this generation just cannot afford to have a family before making sure that they can make a living with their career.