Friday, 3 December 2010

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Pass the milk bottle to the babysitter


In order to date each other, we are looking into getting a Chinese babysitter. This is a win-win-win situation for everyone. The Chinese student gets to earn some money while studying in Denmark and my Significant Other and I get to go on a date without J. J also gets to pick up some Mandarin from the Chinese student.

One thing I have found is that Danes are in general very matured, down-to-earth and less pampered compared to me. Then I discovered that it could be because they take on more responsibility already when they are teenagers. In Asia, especially in the rich families with kids who grow up with lived-in domestic maids, the kids have a tendency to be a little spoilt and pampered and do not have the life skills to know how to cook, clean and take care of themselves. Credit card debts are a major problem in Singapore and the US, but it doesn’t seem to be a big problem in Denmark. In fact, the use of credit cards is not so common in Denmark. Danish men in general also tend to be more involved than Asian men in helping to take care of their own children at home. I think it has something to do with the fact that many Danes take on part-time work already at a very young age as a babysitter, whether or not they are born in a well-to-do family.

My Significant Other was a paid babysitter for his little cousin Kasper when he was a 15 years old teenager. Thus, from a very young age, he learned what responsibility means. He also learned that money doesn’t just drop from the sky. It has cultivated in him the value of thrift and wise-use of money. He saved up enough money from his part-time work to go on an overseas study in the university in France at the age of 19 without any support from his parents.

When our nephew and niece, M and N are a little older, if they wish, they can also babysit J for some pocket money. They will get to take on responsibility and gain maturity, while earning some pocket money, and J gets to know his cousins better as well as to pick up Danish from them.

This is an excellent Danish tradition that I would like to pass down to J. When J grows into his teenage years, I would strongly encourage him to get experience as a babysitter and earn some pocket money.

You have the power to shape the next generation of men in Singapore and China to be more hands-on at home. You can do so by training your sons up as babysitters now :-)

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