According to Channel News Asia, the smaller size of family units could be affecting the way Singaporeans parent their children. The story explores the developing effects of the “Stop at Two” campaign in Singapore, which encourages parents to have no more than two kids in order to control the population size and the quality of life for children. Find out how changing family units and parenting styles may have a negative effect on mental health in Singapore.

Population Growth

Just a few decades ago, Singapore’s parents were having more children and building larger families. The rapid increase in population size was not sustainable long-term for a city-nation with limited land mass like Singapore.

The “Stop at Two” Message

Then came the “Stop at Two” campaign, designed to encourage young couples to have only two children. The campaign included a warning that “the more you have, the less they get.” Essentially, this catchphrase pointed out that as more children came into the family, each child got a smaller and smaller portion of love, time, attention, and resources.

Changes in Family-Building

Now, Singapore is encountering a new issue. Young couples in Singapore are waiting to get married until later in life, and waiting even longer to have babies, preferring to prioritise their careers and lifestyles. When they finally do decide to have kids, they typically only have one or two children. A family with three or four kids is unexpected and unusual in Singapore today.

Along with this change in mindset comes another change. Rather than grandparents, parents, and children all living together in a three-generational household, more Singapore couples are moving out and living on their own with their kids. As a result, the family unit shrinks even further.

Less Advice, Less Assistance

Fewer generations under one roof means that the elder voices of the population aren’t present in the home as often. Their wisdom is now at a distance, and their help may not be immediately available to young parents.

In the past, in larger families, the older siblings could help parents care for the younger ones. Now, the siblings are much closer in age, and there are only two of them in the house, so there isn’t as much surrogate parenting by older brothers and sisters. The parents must not only work and run the household, but take a more direct role in every parenting moment. This can be a good thing; but too often, the constant responsibility takes a toll on the parents’ mental health. Without the help of the older siblings or grandparents, the parents may get worn out too quickly.

The Danger of Over-Indulgence

The fewer children are in the home, the larger share of the resources and attention each one receives. This may seem like a good thing, but it can actually lead to over-indulgence on the part of the parents. They shower their one or two kids with everything they want and all the attention they have, placing the children at risk for a spoiled, lazy perspective on life.

A Visit to a Psychologist in Singapore

If you are interested in improving your family’s mental health, visit a psychiatrist in Singapore. At Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, we are fully staffed with mental health professionals who specialise in a variety of issues, for all ages. Our psychologists in Singapore can help kids re-adjust after trauma or learn new ways to cope with emotion. Call us today and set up a consultation to learn more about your family’s mental health and the possibilities for a happier life.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 27 August 2017