Date
19 November 2017
Parents who are very controlling run the risk of limiting their children's social behavior. Photo: WSJ
Parents who are very controlling run the risk of limiting their children's social behavior. Photo: WSJ

Kids accuse controlling parents of affection deficit disorder

Many Hong Kong parents are keeping a tight rein on their teen children but are failing to show enough care and affection to them, Metro Daily reported Monday, citing a professor of social work.

The comments come after the Hong Kong Playground Association and Chinese University’s social work department surveyed 2,010 high school students in the city between April and June to explore links between teen conduct and parental approach to education.

Over 42.7 percent of the respondents said their mothers were very controlling and showed little affection towards them while 37.1 percent attributed those characteristics to their fathers.

The researchers also found that parents with high levels of control deterred children from social activities, leading to less willingness to help or work with others.

Steven Ngai Sek-yum, study consultant and university social work professor, said the approach is happening across the income spectrum.

“Celebrities are under huge pressure and they might not have much time to communicate with their kids. They worry that their children might not achieve their own levels of social status,” he said, adding that wealth did not correlate with better behaviour.

In late June, one of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s daughters posted a picture of a bloodied hand on Facebook, sparking speculation that she had committed suicide. She later said tensions with her mother for personal problems that drove her to cut her wrist.

Ngai said excessive parental controls limit children’s psychological growth and behaviour. He said parents should respect their children’s privacy and let them make decisions about minor matters.

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