Tobe Frank: Grandkids forced to visit in China! 0



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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.


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…


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]. 

Tobe Frank

Tobe Frank is a recently retired 62 year old gentleman with many views. He has grand ambitions for his retirement he just isn't sure what they are yet and is constantly looking around to find them. Tobe shares his views on Starts at Sixty regularly as one of our columnists.

  1. I’d like a law which forces my KIDS to visit. My 23 year old grand-daughter happily comes to stay. Thanks for the chuckle Frank.

  2. I wouldnt touch this discussion with a 10 pole dipped in phenyl.

  3. I do think this makes a mockery of all the stories about how “other cultures care for their elders, and we don’t”, which have always been put around to make us feel guilty. Now, it appears that many of these people only lived together with the oldies because they had no choice ! Now, as soon as they have become wealthier and “middle class”, they are as neglectful as we always were !

    1 REPLY
    • I agree totally Stella. I wonder if China is also planning to create nursing homes for the elderly as they didn’t need them before.

  4. Don’t forget, if they visit you they’ll expect you to be nice to them, whatever you may secretly think of them! Not only that, but there’s the will to consider – I bet each visit equates as another 10% onto their share when you go, in their minds. (But they DO love you – of course!)

  5. You can’t force someone to care! I couldn’t think of anything worse than visits that are under sufferance!

  6. i like the idea as we live 400kl away from all the kids &grandkids +g/grandkids we only see the maybe 1 time a year

  7. The Chinese love their peopledolls. America has Barbie who is as wacko as some of their idols – Paris, Kardashwatevers, 1,2,&3. and all the others celebs. Then they Justin Kendoll. So America doesn’t need to visit parents. They, most of them, are socially safe, or hiding under beds waiting for the next photobomb come star, or a nuclear bomb to drop.
    China’s government doesn’t allow any of that so they have to do everything, even think for the people. Their committees have got it all in hand.
    How many kiddies, or which sex, where you lift, who you visit and when. Fair dinkum dream place.

  8. We did the usual duty visits when we were younger, the whole family went to three homes for Christmas. We were under obligation to do so. It was like a marathon eating fest! shades of Vicar of Dibley. We also did the same most weekends. Some families still do that.
    I want to see my kids and grandkids but they live a couple of hours away; they work, or they see their friends or they try and catch up on sleep and life. I accept that, but would love ‘drop in’ visits if that was easier.
    Instead, thank goodness for Facebook and Skype. No way would I like the rules China is bringing in, being forced? Nope.

  9. I am travelling to China in 3 weeks time and I will have the opportunity to ask older Chinese how they feel about this and let you know…!!

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