More than 80 percent of children in economically disadvantaged families are “parentified” children — meaning they have to share the role of parents in a family — a survey by the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families (TFCF) and the Children’s Welfare League Foundation showed yesterday.
Eleven-year-old Ling (小羚) lives with her grandmother and three siblings in Greater Tainan’s Jiali District (佳里) after her parents divorced and, despite her young age, she takes on the role of a parent in their absence.
“I wake up at about five every morning, and look after my little brothers and sister when my grandma goes out to wholesale market to get vegetables,” she told a press conference in Taipei yesterday. “On weekends or holidays, I go with my grandma to local markets to sell vegetables.”
When Ling returns from school, she does the chores, cooks, bathes her brothers and sister, and helps them with their homework.
Ling’s case is not an isolated one.
“Kids who have to take on the job of being a parent are called ‘parentified children,’ and it’s surprising for us to find in a recent survey that as many as 80 percent of children in economically disadvantaged families have to act like parents at home,” said Weng Hui-yuan (翁慧圓), director of TFCF’s department of social work.
“Most parentified children don’t feel that they are forced to do the job and most do so willingly, but many respondents told us in the survey that they feel tired, psychologically pressured and hopeless,” Weng said.
The two organizations conducted the survey at the end of last month and they collected 1,071 valid samples from third and fourth graders in economically disadvantaged families across the country.
The survey shows that more than 80 percent of the children not only need to help out with household chores, but that they also take care of younger siblings in the family, while 16.7 percent of the respondents even have to earn money for their families.
When asked about their willingness, more than 70 percent of respondents said they believe they are doing what they are supposed to, while 25 percent said they are doing the job because no one else can help out.
The organizations urged the public to lend a helping hand to parentified children.
“Without the appropriate help, these kids may become autistic, have problems getting along with other people and suffer from low self-esteem, since they feel ‘different’ to their peers and they don’t have anything in common with them,” TFCF executive director Miguel Wang (王明仁) said. “As able adults, we should try to help.”
The heads of three major US banks on Wednesday pledged that they would withdraw from the Chinese market if Washington imposed sanctions on Beijing in response to an invasion of Taiwan. JP Morgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, Bank of America chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan and Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser told lawmakers at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services in Washington that the three banks would follow the guidance of the US government to exit China if necessary. The three bankers made the pledge after US Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer asked the three if they
CHINA CRITIC: Prime ministerial candidate Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner in today’s election, said that she would not renew a Belt and Road Initiative deal with Beijing Italian lawmaker Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner to become the country’s next prime minister, is expected to reverse course on Italy’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen ties with Taiwan if a coalition headed by her party wins the country’s general election today. “Without any doubt, if there is a center-right government, it is sure that Taiwan will be an essential concern for Italy,” Meloni told the Central News Agency in an interview. Italians are to vote in a snap election triggered by the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi following a failed attempt to get his coalition partners
HIGH STAKES: An attack on Taiwan could prompt a joint response from the US and Japan, and trigger a global conflict that could bring down the CCP, Liu Tai-ying said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would not be able to launch an invasion of Taiwan for at least another 10 years, Taiwan Research Institute founder Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) said on Friday. To occupy Taiwan, China needs to transport at least 300,000 to 400,000 troops across the Taiwan Strait during battle, but it would lack the ability to do so for at least another decade, said Liu, a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) treasurer and a close aide to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). The challenges that China would face during an attempted invasion of Taiwan would be even greater than those
HELPING Hand: The government is to provide NT$30,000 in disaster relief to displaced people, while those who have been severely injured would receive NT$250,000 Contingency bus services are transporting rail passengers between Hualien and Taitung counties on the nation’s east coast after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake damaged facilities on Sunday, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. Until normal train services resume, the bus services would be provided every hour from 6am to 8pm between Hualien and Taitung railway stations, with stops in Jian (吉安), Shoufong (壽豐), Fonglin (鳳林), Guangfu (光復), Ruisuei (瑞穗), Yuli (玉里), Fuli (富里), Chihshang (池上), Guanshan (關山) and Luye (鹿野), the TRA said. While most of the damaged railway tracks would be repaired by today and others by Sunday, Minister of Transportation