Reasons for depending on parents

Updated: 2014-12-30 08:26

(China Daily)

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Reasons for depending on parents

A young man stages a performance art by holding a sign that says "Mum! Lend me 100,000 yuan to buy an appartment". China terms adult children who lean too heavily on their parents “kenlao zu” — literally, people who nibble on their elders.

Society should be more understanding toward youths who rely on their parents for financial support, says an article in Nanfang Daily. Excerpts:

Some young people either do not make serious efforts to find work or cannot find employment despite trying, and thus depend on their old parents for material support. This was not normal until some years ago in China. But an increasing number of young people today depend on their parents for financial support despite working because they don't have enough money to pay the high housing prices. Besides, there are some youths who depend on their elderly parents for almost everything.

In the United States, children are taught to be independent from an early age. Parents' wealth and savings are not necessarily meant for their offspring. Yet in China it is a tradition for parents to pass on their wealth to children rather than enjoying their savings in old age. In addition, they are also expected to take care of their grandchildren.

Most of the Chinese youths today could be financially independent if they want to get a job or start a business. Surveys, too, show that many Chinese parents are ready to provide necessary help to their children to make them financially independent.

But the problem is that salaries are too low compared with the overall prices of commodities, especially housing and other immovable assets that are important to lead a decent life. The share of labor in China's GDP is much lower than in other countries, which perhaps explains why grown-up children have to depend on the parents for a comfortable life.