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Thread: Grandparents and granchildren

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    Grandparents and granchildren

    This article from The Nation today (some edits here, get the full article at link)

    Expect many board members have encountered this, grandparents getting kids to look after while parent/parents work

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    Children of a lost generation

    All over Thailand, grandparents are struggling to raise their children's offspring. The kids are suffering too

    Every night, 53-year-old Seng Codechum gets up several times in order to prepare infant formula for her seven-month old grandson. In the bedroom she shares with her 63-year-old husband and four-year-old grandson, the baby's crying awakens the two elders, who take turns feeding him. Several months have passed since their sons and daughters-in-law left home in Khon Kaen's Baan Nong-Or village to find work in the big cities, leaving the young children in their care.

    "His parents left him with us when he was one month old," says Seng, pointing to her younger grandchild. "The elder one they left when he was three days old."

    Across Thailand, about 21 per cent of children under the age of 18 - or some three million children - are not living with their parents mostly due to internal migration, according to the findings of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted by the National Statistical Office with support from Unicef in 2012. In the Northeast, the rate is almost 30 per cent.

    "The number of children left behind in Thailand is remarkably high compared with other countries and should be a major cause of concern," says Andrew Claypole, chief of Social Policy for Unicef Thailand. "People in Thailand think it is normal for grandparents or others to take care of grandchildren whose parents have migrated. It is not. The scale of the internal migration phenomenon in Thailand is massive and unlike other countries where MICS studies have been conducted."

    ***********

    Results from the study's initial phase showed that 25 per cent of children not living with their parents have developmental delays, compared with 16 per cent of children who are living with both parents. The children left behind by their parents also lag in other developmental aspects development, especially language skills.

    "I can see a clear difference here," says Sumit Osopama, a teacher at Baan Nong-Or Early Childhood Development Centre in Khon Kaen's Nam Phong district. "Children who live with their grandparents weigh less and are shorter than children in the same age group who live with their parents. It seems that the grandparents do not pay much attention to their grandchildren's diets. They don't play with or read for the children. They don't really know how to stimulate the children's development."

    ***********

    In households where fathers are absent, about 40 per cent of fathers had not sent home any money during the previous six months. In addition, nearly 30 per cent of fathers had never contacted their children or their children's caretakers.

    "They send us Bt1,000 every three to four months," says Seng, adding that their sons call regularly but visit just once a year. "The infant formula alone is Bt3,000 a month. I'm not sure what my sons do for a living, but they said they will come and take their children to live with them when they are rich."


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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    though some will claim its ok because its "cultural"

    "The number of children left behind in Thailand is remarkably high compared with other countries and should be a major cause of concern," says Andrew Claypole, chief of Social Policy for Unicef Thailand. "People in Thailand think it is normal for grandparents or others to take care of grandchildren whose parents have migrated. It is not. The scale of the internal migration phenomenon in Thailand is massive and unlike other countries where MICS studies have been conducted."

    Results from the study's initial phase showed that 25 per cent of children not living with their parents have developmental delays, compared with 16 per cent of children who are living with both parents. The children left behind by their parents also lag in other developmental aspects development, especially language skills.

    "I can see a clear difference here," says Sumit Osopama, a teacher at Baan Nong-Or Early Childhood Development Centre in Khon Kaen's Nam Phong district. "Children who live with their grandparents weigh less and are shorter than children in the same age group who live with their parents. It seems that the grandparents do not pay much attention to their grandchildren's diets. They don't play with or read for the children. They don't really know how to stimulate the children's development."
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Sydney's Avatar
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    Interesting article Hatari, although i would say the figures are based on rural child development alone. My Wife's nephew is also being raised by the grandparents, but in Bangkok and attends a good school, albeit a christian private school.

    Jokingly JK and i have talked about if she got pregnant, her natural answer is she would just send the child back to Bangkok for her parents to look after after, its almost like for her its the natural thing to do, personally i don't agree with that idea ( snip ? ...55 ) but its almost like its a ingrain concept within the thai culture.

    But i will say the positive side is that the thai grandparents do provide a inbuilt unconditional love to all things family, something that perhaps that western family surely lack..... demographics and education however is the flip side
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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydney View Post
    Interesting article Hatari, although i would say the figures are based on rural child development alone. My Wife's nephew is also being raised by the grandparents, but in Bangkok and attends a good school, albeit a christian private school.

    Jokingly JK and i have talked about if she got pregnant, her natural answer is she would just send the child back to Bangkok for her parents to look after after, its almost like for her its the natural thing to do, personally i don't agree with that idea ( snip ? ...55 ) but its almost like its a ingrain concept within the thai culture.

    But i will say the positive side is that the thai grandparents do provide a inbuilt unconditional love to all things family, something that perhaps that western family surely lack..... demographics and education however is the flip side
    We say cultural but it's only 21% of children raised that way in Thailand... so it's not the norm even there...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    We say cultural but it's only 21% of children raised that way in Thailand... so it's not the norm even there...
    Compared to western ?
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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Sydney's Avatar
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    one child in 5 is going to have a bearing in the future i would say... be it right or wrong
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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydney View Post
    Compared to western ?
    No... compared to Thailand... 80% of children are raised by their parents.. not grandparents.
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydney View Post
    Interesting article Hatari, although i would say the figures are based on rural child development alone. My Wife's nephew is also being raised by the grandparents, but in Bangkok and attends a good school, albeit a christian private school.

    Jokingly JK and i have talked about if she got pregnant, her natural answer is she would just send the child back to Bangkok for her parents to look after after, its almost like for her its the natural thing to do, personally i don't agree with that idea ( snip ? ...55 ) but its almost like its a ingrain concept within the thai culture.

    But i will say the positive side is that the thai grandparents do provide a inbuilt unconditional love to all things family, something that perhaps that western family surely lack..... demographics and education however is the flip side
    I seriously have to go to Australia to see how families are there because I hear a lot of you guys talk about family there in a negative way.
    I honestly don't see that in North America at all. We are so close to our families. If care is needed from young to old, it is always provided by immediate or extended family.
    I am not challenging your claims.....But we definitely have different thoughts on family than you guys seem to have

    Why do you see so different from families in your country to Thailand?

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    The way I have seen it on a close, personal basis is that it is great to have that family support when needed.

    But i think it has brought on a thought process that they don't need to plan out having a child. I think you have many TG's having babies that are not emotionally or financially capable of having children yet but they just feel it can be passed off to the moms or other relatives.

    In my own personal situation, I find it similar to what Sydney mentioned. My stepson lives in BKK, goes to a good school and education and discipline is stressed. Actually the discipline is too strict and we have told my MIL she needs to allow my stepson a social life now that he is 13yrs.
    Me and Ao finally have full 3yr WP together for the 1st time and after a lenghty wait, it looks like her small health issue wont be an immigration problem for her. So I have been pushing for her son to come here full time in March, something he very much wants to do. But if I am being honest, I dont know how excited she is for him to come and I know we are going to gave huge growing pains with her being a full time mom for the 1st time in his life

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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post

    Why do you see so different from families in your country to Thailand?
    Speaking about true Aus and even NZ families ( not European or Asian immigrants ) i would say a lot different, yes care would obviously provided, at least on a short time basis or in time of a crisis , but handing you baby over to be brought up by the grandparents would not be normal at all, probably even frowned upon.

    Don't get me wrong, grandparents here love there grandchildren, totally, but bringing them up is a different kettle of fish, and we are not comparing apples for apples anyway, demographics doesn't provide the situations that you have in thailand, so we can't compare..

    But having said that, grandparents here value there spare time as well, don't ask to babysit to often, you will be cramping there style...555 ... i believe they think they have done their time, now its their time, can you appreciate that ?
    The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydney View Post
    Speaking about true Aus and even NZ families ( not European or Asian immigrants ) i would say a lot different, yes care would obviously provided, at least on a short time basis or in time of a crisis , but handing you baby over to be brought up by the grandparents would not be normal at all, probably even frowned upon.

    Don't get me wrong, grandparents here love there grandchildren, totally, but bringing them up is a different kettle of fish, and we are not comparing apples for apples anyway, demographics doesn't provide the situations that you have in thailand, so we can't compare..

    But having said that, grandparents here value there spare time as well, don't ask to babysit to often, you will be cramping there style...555 ... i believe they think they have done their time, now its their time, can you appreciate that ?
    No, i dont see that at all here, quite the contrary.
    Grandparents here will usually complain they dont see thier grandkids enough!
    And I would say it is quite common that grandparents are a huge component of raising kids here

    From the grandparents living in the house
    Going along on holidays
    Taking them on weekends

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    No, i dont see that at all here, quite the contrary.
    Grandparents here will usually complain they dont see thier grandkids enough!
    And I would say it is quite common that grandparents are a huge component of raising kids here

    From the grandparents living in the house
    Going along on holidays
    Taking them on weekends
    I don't think NZ/Australia has that "community feel" that Thailand has... that the UK used to have but is slowly losing... and maybe parts of the US still have. That community feel where there is a "base" where you maybe grew up... and the folks or grandparents are nearby and keen to lend a helping hand. NZ'rs and Australians move around a lot and its probably quite rare to see someone living anywhere near where they grew up... and likely they wouldn't know anyone where they grew up any more anyway... there is no "home town". Except in some rare cases in rural towns.
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    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    I don't think NZ/Australia has that "community feel" that Thailand has... that the UK used to have but is slowly losing... and maybe parts of the US still have. That community feel where there is a "base" where you maybe grew up... and the folks or grandparents are nearby and keen to lend a helping hand. NZ'rs and Australians move around a lot and its probably quite rare to see someone living anywhere near where they grew up... and likely they wouldn't know anyone where they grew up any more anyway... there is no "home town". Except in some rare cases in rural towns.
    I think pretty much all of the US and Canada still have it pretty strong
    I honestly dont know anyone that doesnt have strong family ties......I am sure there are some people but cant think of any

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    I think pretty much all of the US and Canada still have it pretty strong
    I honestly dont know anyone that doesnt have strong family ties......I am sure there are some people but cant think of any
    Depends how you mean? I feel a close bond with my immediate family... but they are on the other side of the planet. I used to have a strong extended family in the UK... as they all lived quite close to each other. But once my gran died... there was no common bond any more... added to that people moving further away... and that family bond is quite disjointed now. I imagine that must happen to a lot of people...

    In Thailand or other societies where village life means a strong family/community spirit exists then it is a lot easer to maintain... it used to be like that in the UK. Say 20 or 30 years ago.. but seems to be changing now... whereas in NZ it never really existed due to people moving around a lot.
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    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    I don't think NZ/Australia has that "community feel" that Thailand has... that the UK used to have but is slowly losing... and maybe parts of the US still have. That community feel where there is a "base" where you maybe grew up... and the folks or grandparents are nearby and keen to lend a helping hand. NZ'rs and Australians move around a lot and its probably quite rare to see someone living anywhere near where they grew up... and likely they wouldn't know anyone where they grew up any more anyway... there is no "home town". Except in some rare cases in rural towns.
    Spot on.... i have always said for Sydney anyway, its such a transit place, i have seen so many friends come and go in the 25 years i have lived here.... grandparents are rarely just around the corner anymore
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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    One of the many reasons grandparents get landed with looking after these kids is that there is no welfare support for the mother - the 'solo parent' scene isn't here
    In NZ the 'solo mums benefit' (Domestic Purposes Benefit) was long seen as a career opportunity; an easy way out of being pressured to look for work and a stable (but low) guaranteed income.
    Currently $295 per week basic plus allowances for accommodation, additional expenses.
    If not for welfare support - what would happen to the one-in-four quoted below?

    One child in four in single-parent home
    New Zealand has the third-highest rate of children living in single-parent homes, an OECD study says.
    This means nearly one in four Kiwi children are growing up in single-parent homes as more marriages break up and single women choose to enter motherhood on their own.
    Children's Commissioner John Angus said Kiwi children were four times more likely to be living under the poverty line if they were being raised by a single parent. New Zealand's child poverty rate, at 12.2 per cent, is nearly on a par with the OECD average. Child poverty includes going hungry and living in poor housing that can lead to poor health.
    While the notion of the New Zealand family is changing, one salient demographic remains; single mother families have the highest poverty rates. They also have high levels of common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    as a counter to the welfare point in last post there's also the parents who choose grandparents for early childcare - I suppose by agreement rather than the ones who may have little choice
    Have encountered couples where grandparent/s have taken on a child/children to allow the couple to continue to work full-time and save towards their first home.
    Doubled-sided of course in that by continuing to both work fulltime it's likely the couple are also continuing to 'send money home' in cases where parents have little or no retirement income.
    The standard pension for an over 60 (is it 500 baht a month?) doesn't go far.

    More 'local' to me. MsH's mother looks after a grandson. The father (Bangkok) works 4 on 4 off 12hr shifts (electronics) but currently in Japan July-January . . . wife had six months paid parental leave from her company but at that point the decision had to be made, and grandma to the rescue. The boy is growing up (till age 6 when he'll be in Bangkok with parents) with extended family - next door his aunt/uncle and their family; goes to pre-school 4hrs a day 5 days a week.
    Not perfect - but could be worse.

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Mr. Smiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    I think pretty much all of the US and Canada still have it pretty strong
    I honestly dont know anyone that doesnt have strong family ties......I am sure there are some people but cant think of any
    Growing up during the summer, the parents (who lived on the West coast) would send me and my sister to live with Grandparents (who lived on the East Coast) for 2-3 months. Can't imagine a better way to grow up to be honest. Grandparents certainly didn't spoil us, had to do chores and help out around house (for free, not bribed with money to do chores). Good way to learn some old school values, gives a different perspective on things.

    Can't imagine how kids develop now a days plugged into the internet and video games almost 24/7.
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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Minder's Avatar
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    The article is a piece of nonsense - no doubt the paper need a bit of "controversy" that day and decided to run this as a bad new story at the last - otherwise all the happy, clean, well-fed children in the photos would have be changed out to match.
    Note the second photo in the Op, spotlessly clean house, crib with mosquito net for the baby, the boy sitting on Pa's crossed legs is clearly sitting in his normal place - nothing forced or staged there.
    Frankly IMHO the other 80% should be so lucky.
    .....and yes, I was raised in a house with my grandparents .... so yes I am biased ... and if I am being childishly defensive then you can put that down to my delayed development !!!!
    Life is the unexpected ...

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minder View Post
    The article is a piece of nonsense - no doubt the paper need a bit of "controversy" that day and decided to run this as a bad new story at the last - otherwise all the happy, clean, well-fed children in the photos would have be changed out to match.
    Note the second photo in the Op, spotlessly clean house, crib with mosquito net for the baby, the boy sitting on Pa's crossed legs is clearly sitting in his normal place - nothing forced or staged there.
    Frankly IMHO the other 80% should be so lucky.
    .....and yes, I was raised in a house with my grandparents .... so yes I am biased ... and if I am being childishly defensive then you can put that down to my delayed development !!!!
    It is not nonsene
    When do you think kids learn to advance and the best time to mold them? When they are young
    Through no fault of their own, a good % of these grandparents of that generation would be illiterate
    It would be a simple fact that they just would not be able to provide the necessary home education that even someone with just a High school education could
    That doesnt mean the kids are not raised well or looked after......Just that their is disadvantages

    My MIL cares deeply about my stepson and cares for him very well. But with her being illiterate the simple truth is that his educational development will accelerate being in our household. We simply dont have some of the limitations, education-wise, that she has

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