Date
20 August 2017
While Hong Kong students face pressure in school their parents worry about whether their children can cope with their school work. Photo: Reuters
While Hong Kong students face pressure in school their parents worry about whether their children can cope with their school work. Photo: Reuters

Sleepless in Hong Kong: Parents worried sick over kids in school

If Hong Kong schools are a pressure cooker for students, then their parents must be worried sick.

With a new school year starting in September, a recent survey of 407 parents finds 35 percent are worried about their children’s education, even to the extent of suffering from insomnia, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.

Parents who are over-worried indicate a pressure level of 7 on a scale of 0-10, according to the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) survey. 

Nearly half of the parents said they are worried their children could not cope with the curriculum while 34.9 percent believed homework is too heavy a burden for their children.

Then there is peer pressure. Conflicts among students are a worry with 27 percent of the parents.

Under such pressure, there were 4,716 cases of parents seeking mental help in the past 11 months, a unit director of the HKFYG said. 

These parents have shown symptoms of depression or anxiety. Some even worry about trifling details such as whether their children have name labels on their belongings or know where to assemble.

HKFYG supervisor Hsu Siu-man said most parents want their children to grow up under the best environment and so arrange cram schools or a lot of extracurricular activities for them in order to keep them from falling behind others.

But doing so piles more pressure on both children and parents and often leads to domestic friction.

Parents should face rather than neglect these issues to avoid being caught up in a vicious circle of problems and pressure, Hsu said.

The group provides a counseling hotline on 2777 8899 and online counseling at utouch.hk for parents, she said.

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