According to a recent survey on the relationship between parents and adult children in contemporary China, conducted by Tencent News and Dove, children nowadays are too shy to express love toward their parents.
With the fast-paced urbanization and great social changes in China, an increasing number of parents do not live with their children. Communication has become a serious problem due to the generation gap and physical distance.
Love You More Than I Can Say
Experts: Try to Express Positive Emotions Toward Parents
Polling over 20,000 online users, the report implied that 78.1 percent male respondents have never directly expressed love and gratitude to their parents whereas the proportion for women was 64.7 percent.
Also, about 23.5 percent of children are used to compliment their parents in heart while only 18 percent are good at expressing such positive affections aloud.
In addition, the gender gap is a problem. Children prefer to say ‘I Love You' or ‘Wo Ai Ni' to moms, while dads and sons are less likely to express love at all.
Meanwhile, the majority of children surveyed (60 percent) understand that parents are happy to hear their expression of love and other positive emotions. However, about 75 percent of respondents said that although they felt grateful for what their parents have done for them, they were too shy to express love directly.
The report also implied that the proportion of children who have said 'I love you' to their parents varies from region to region.
Children in southwest China's Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality said the sweet words most, followed by those in northeast provinces. On the contrary, people in the central and west parts of China express their feelings the least.
However, children's shyness does not mean they do not care for their parents.
Compared to words, they tended to express appreciation through unspoken means including sending gifts.
In particular, women prefer to buy gifts to delight their parents. Findings suggest that about 11.6 percent of women send gifts to parents more than six times annually. Over 60 percent of respondents would rather consider parental preference first instead of price as well as other factors when choosing gifts.
Also, the report showed that nearly 70 percent of respondents have saved their parents' photos on their mobile phones.
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Regarding physical distance between parents and children nowadays, most families have to keep in touch via phone and Internet. The report implied that with age, children were less likely to complain about their struggles and difficulties in life to avoid parental worry. Instead, over half of respondents kept in touch with their parents to update them on their status.
Nevertheless, nearly half of children (49.2 percent) still complained to their parents about hardships. Fortunately, the trend is getting weaker among children who are getting older. Data showed that those who expressed bitterness toward their parents at above 50 years old merely accounted for 0.3 percent.
Regarding parental difficulties in daily life, in children's eyes, the usage of digital gadgets (37 percent) and medical care (10.4 percent) are considered the most disturbing things for older generations.
Disappointingly, about 28.1 percent of respondents had no idea about what troubled their parents on a daily basis.
Furthermore, regarding communication online, during the survey, about 20.2 percent of children said they would block their parents from their daily posts on WeChat, one of China's most popular social networking apps.
When asked about their reasons, about 37.5 percent of respondents said they worried their ups and downs in life may make their parents worried. Also, 22.6 percent would like to maintain privacy beyond parental control.
The percentage of this group is extremely high among respondents below 18 years old, at 30 percent.
Surprisingly and interestingly, the report implied that children with higher educational achievements were more likely to share fun stories with their parents.
Respondents with master degrees or above accounted for the lowest proportion among people who are not willing to share things since they think their parents would not understand what they said.
Specifically, findings showed that over 40 percent of respondents with master degrees or above often shared their daily life stories with their parents whereas the proportion for those with junior high school degrees was only 21.4 percent.
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Experts: Squeeze More Time into Company with Parents
Over half of respondents said they have little time to accompany their parents.
The report implied that most children do not contact their parents frequently. About 65.9 percent of respondents called their parents less than 10 minutes each time on average.
Pressure from the workplace and school is regarded as the main reason for such ignorance, accounting for 39.5 percent, noted the authors of the report.
Besides, nearly half of children spend time with their parents during weekends or holidays, but the rest does not.
According to findings, the proportion of children who will return home to visit their parents was just 48.3 percent. In particular, respondents aged between 18-25 are the largest group that go home less frequently, accounting for 15.1 percent.
Experts advised young people who are too busy with their careers or other stuff to squeeze in time to go home and stay with their parents during some important festivals including Spring and Mid-Autumn Festivals.
Two-fifths of people expressed a wish to spend more time with their parents in 2017, it was found.
Experts called on the younger generation to support their parents before it is too late. According to findings, about 35.7 percent of children claimed that only when their parents were in poor health did they begin to realize their dependence while some respondents realized this only after having children.
(Source: Tencent News/ Translated and edited by Women of China)