Tobe Frank: Grandkids forced to visit in China!

To be frank, I’m not sure whether to laugh, cry or just run.  China has done a doozy of a deal for its oldies, and I want some of the action… 


I was reading earlier this week that there is a new law in China forcing adults to visit their elderly parents ‘often’ or face being sued for neglect, abandonment or just plain ignoring them…come again…no really, I HAVE to wake up!!   I mean, legislating that our kids and grandkids have to visit!!!  Happy days… or is it?


Five decades ago this may have not been such a problem as the average life expectancy in China was 41, so most oldies like us didn’t need visiting in the chair, just the graveyard.

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But now with the average life expectancy skyrocketing to 73, it has apparently become somewhat of a problem.   As millions of Chinese move into ‘middle-class’ and become exposed to a choice of new age housing options in cities across the country, the traditional Chinese household type is being traded in for fancy apartments and branded shopping bags.  The youngsters aren’t living at home in the shared apartments with their extended families anymore.  So the lawmakers have had to step in, and tell them that it is their job to care for their elders, visiting them regularly … like it or lump it, because the Government says so!


Can you imagine such legislation coming into Australia?  (Well actually I can imagine all types of ‘kn stupid and ridiculous legislation that has been passed in Australia, but that is a-whole-nother rant altogether)  Lets look at this from any of us active oldies perspective, who might have even older parents… I know most of you would happily say you love your parents deeply and dearly, but come on, some of the obligatory visits and annual celebrations are more draining than a sink shop and more of a drag than a mardi-gra parade at Eastern Creek Raceway.  Then look at it from the kids perspective… instead of spending their weekend out shopping with their mates, or hanging out at the local footy club, they are gonna get forced to visit their olds…


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Oh hang on, wait…I’m now a grandparent.  And whilst I’m impartial to my bloodsucking kids, I don’t get to see my grandkids anywhere near as much as I want to…  so bring it on…


Tony, Julia, I mean Kevin, have I got a piece of election campaigning gold for you!


What do you think of the idea of a legislation that required your grandkids to visit you?  Wouldn’t it be disappointing if they came to visit ‘cos they had to’!!

 [On Monday of this week a new law truly did come into power in China that requires family members to visit their elderly relatives regularly.  With more than 14% of the Chinese population, or 194 million people, over the age of 60, the government is getting concerned over the rapid change in the way families reside and the shift from extended families living together to single person dwellings].