- part 1

- part 2

I think this is a problem that is less likely to happen in the U.S. (as parents in the U.S. tend to stress more about independence to their children very early).  But, it is actually a rather common problem in Hong Kong.

What is the problem?  Well, this actually talks about "helicopter parents", which is the nickname for overprotective parents.  Because the parents are overprotective of their kids, experts say that these children could have issues of independence and handling adversity as they grow older.

Why is it that way, you may wonder?

1. School is already extremely stressful.  If you don't do well, you are going to be behind the 8 ball very early.  That means that you might not get into a good school for junior high, which leads to even less likely chance of getting into a good school for high school, senior high, and college... if you are able to get through high school and senior high.  I put "if you are able to get through senior high" that way because the odds of a child getting into college in Hong Kong is not as high as the U.S.  Because the parents know that, they are worried about whether their kids have time to do their ADL's... as they might have to put their kids through tutoring services and/or other extracurricular activities.

2. Family maids are actually relatively affordable... as most of them are from Thailand, India, or the Philippines.  I am not sure what the market is now... but it was around $3500-5000 HKD along with a place of residence (they do have their own little rooms) per month 15 years ago for a full-time one.  These maids' sole responsibility is to do majority of their employers' ADL's (sometimes also include self-care) from a day to 7 days a week.  They do get days off here and there... but not often.  For the Filipino ones I know, they get most of Sundays off to go to church and/or hang out with their compatriots around the streets of Central.  That's a pretty nice deal for people in Hong Kong because of their need to keep up with the up-tempo lifestyle there... even though it could represent a sizable chunk of the family's income for those that can afford them.

3. Parents are extremely worried about the world their kids are being exposed to... as they keep on thinking that they are not ready to face the world.  Over time, their kids turn into their late teens before they know it.  By that time comes, the parents then realize that they are in a dilemma with their children, which could be too late.

In the video... the first couple kids actually admitted that they need to rely on someone to put on their uniforms for them at age 11.  In the U.S., I am sure they would be laughing stocks of their peers!  Anyway, their mom realized she couldn't let the problem to get worse, so she decided to let go of the family maid.  She was worried about her kids transitioning to the fact.  But, after some time, they became more capable of their ADL's.

Another segment of the documentary talks about some schools there also started to realize the problem.  Therefore, they inserted ADL training into the school curriculum.  (We are talking about mainstream schools here!)  In fact, one school went to an extreme measure that each 4th grader have to attend a 2.5 days ADL boot camp to see if each student remembered what they learned in earlier grades.  Another school used another extreme measure.  That school designated some students to be "ADL demonstrators" and they would be subjected to home visits by their fellow classmates... as they would record what they saw through a semi-formal interview and home check with the footage probably be shared with their fellow classmates in school.

Weird, isn't it?  Your thoughts?