Now and then, Hong Kong media carry reports of arrests of caretakers (very often the mother) who leave children, some up to the age of 13, home alone. At the same time, commentators lament that “Hong Kong parents are so overly protective that they have earned themselves the nickname ‘helicopters’ - a reference to their propensity to hover above their children” (South China Morning Post, 12 September 2013 edition), and advise that “Hong Kong kids need 13 Julian Stern – Social and Moral Fabric of the School – Notes – August 2014 13 to learn self-care skills” (South China Morning Post, 7 May 2013 edition). These might lead one to think that Hong Kong children are “little emperors” enjoying a good time. This paper attempts to dig deeper beneath the surface to see if this rosy picture is actually the case, and queries whether there is somehow a connection between the emphasis on children’s rights, particularly the right to protection, and the tendency toward overprotection, if only in the sense that they are different expressions of the same zeitgeist. The image of the child underlying some of the legislation that purports to protect children’s rights will be examined for both its soundness and its effect on children’s wellbeing.
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2014|