While most of the children in a Children’s Welfare League Foundation (CWLF) survey said they like school and home, most of them said too much school work and being ignored by busy parents were the major sources of their unhappiness.
“Most parents want their children to be happy and grow up to become ‘useful’ people,” CWLF executive director Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a news conference yesterday, which was Women and Children’s Day. “Parents buy toys for their children and send them to all kinds of talent courses or cram schools — but do we really know if we’re making the children happy?”
A survey of more than 4,000 elementary school children randomly selected from 22 cities and counties showed that although 92.2 percent of the children said they love going home after school, 47.2 percent of the children were not happy at home because their parents never complimented them and 18.8 percent said they were often hit by their parents.
The survey showed that only 45.1 percent of the children told their parents about things that troubled them and about 30 percent of the respondents said that they were sometimes left alone at home.
Meanwhile, nearly 77 percent of the respondents said they enjoyed going to school, but 61.7 percent of the surveyed children also said that they had too much schoolwork.
“From the results, we can see that children still view their homes as a safe haven, but parents are either too busy to spend time with them or ignore their children’s feelings,” Wang said.
CWLF chairwoman and National Taiwan University social work professor Joyce Feng (馮燕) and first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) were invited to chat with 20 elementary school children at the news conference.
During the chat, a child nicknamed Bill complained that his parents sent him to an English cram school that “teaches lessons that are harder than at school,” while another child nicknamed Hsiao Kuai (小乖), said his parents signed him up for different talent courses and cram school lessons — including math, English, composition and calligraphy — one each day from Monday through Saturday.
“Apparently, parents’ high expectations of their children have contributed to school work overload that troubles many children,” Wang said.
Chow advised busy parents to spend a little time with their children each day.
“You should consider spending quality time with your children as part of your busy schedule,” Feng said. “If you make spending time with the children a regular part of your schedule, your kids will be happily looking forward to that particular time of the day.”