SINGAPORE: Filial Piety Is Probably Overrated

Have you ever thought about why you’re having kids?

Some have kids because they think it’s part of the “marriage progression”, they want to carry on their bloodline or because everyone around them are having children.

Others feel that they want to leave a legacy through their offspring. Then there are those who do it simply because they have a strong desire to have children.

In Asia, it’s not uncommon for people to want to have children to ensure that there’s someone to look after them when they turn old. In fact, there’s even a Chinese idiom 养儿防老 – which translates to mean “raise children to safeguard your old age”.

Indeed, in Asian societies that have been strongly influenced by Confucius teachings, such as China, Japan, Korea and Singapore, the practice of filial piety is still seen as an important social value and esteemed as virtue to be inculcated in one’s children from a very young age.

Children are not only expected to respect and obey their parents, it’s also deemed their duty to look after their parents in old age. (more…)


Ruth lives in Singapore, a tiny island 137 kilometres north of the equator. After graduating from university, she worked as a medical social worker for a few years before making a switch to HR and worked in various industries such as retail, banking and manufacturing. In spite of the invaluable skills and experiences she had gained during those years, she never felt truly happy or satisfied. It was only when she embarked on a journey to rediscover her strengths and passion that this part of her life was transformed. Today, Ruth is living her dreams as a writer. Ironically, she loves what she does so much that at one point, she even thought that becoming a mom would hinder her career. Thanks to her husband’s gentle persuasions, she now realises what joy she would have missed out had she not changed her mind. She is now a happy WAHM. Ruth launched MomME Circle, a resource site to support and inspire moms to create a life and business they love. She has a personal blog Mommy Café where she writes about her son's growing up and shares her interests such as food and photography.

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