Monster parents breeding brats in HK; “The city is at high risk as it is producing spoilt children who are overconfident about themselves”

Monster parents breeding brats in HK

“The city is at high risk as it is producing spoilt children who are overconfident about themselves,” said Associate Professor Annis Fung from City University of Hong Kong. -ST

Tue, Apr 30, 2013
The Straits Times

HONG KONG – “Monster” parents in Hong Kong are turning out a generation of spoilt brats with an inflated view of their abilities and who may resort to aggression to get ahead, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Wednesday, citing a latest study.

“The city is at high risk as it is producing spoilt children who are overconfident about themselves,” said Associate Professor Annis Fung from City University of Hong Kong.

“Monster” parents, who practise an authoritarian education style and over-emphasise children’s academic performance, could increase their children’s complacency, reported the Wen Wei Po newspaper on Wednesday.Prof Fung’s study found that Hong Kong children rated themselves a lot more highly than youngsters in the West – to the extent that some are at risk of developing disorders that could turn them into violent offenders. She tested 9,400 pupils with an average age of 11 using an antisocial process screening device – a questionnaire that detects antisocial traits.

The average level of narcissism displayed by children in the city was 3.89 on a 14-point scale – higher than the 2.9 for children in the United States, 2.36 in the United Kingdom and 2.81 in Australia.

The test, the first of its kind in the city, measures children’s self-regard and their views of the outside world, as well as their means of achieving their desires.

Prof Fung, who is in the department of applied social studies, said she was worried because 16 per cent of children showed signs that they were aggressors or tended to bully, while similar studies in the US found about 10 per cent of children with such a tendency, reported the SCMP.

“Action must be taken. We don’t want murders,” she said, adding such children may try to achieve their goals without thinking of the consequences.

Children from affluent families with a monthly income of at least HK$30,000 (S$4,800) are more narcissistic than those from low-income families, as they tend to be over-served at home by maids, and they perceive themselves to be “dominant in their social group”, The Standard reported on Wednesday.

Registered social worker Cecilia Ng Kam-kuen said Hong Kong’s outcome-based education system encouraged people to be more selfish and “look only at the results”. Such a culture is likely to influence children and make them self-centred.

Prof Fung said: “Parents should focus more on developing their children’s ethics and empathy so that they will learn to appreciate and respect others, and understand their needs and feelings.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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