Friday, August 28, 2009

Generation Me - Learn to Parent your Parents

People in Shanghai can now have two kids. China till a few years back, just stopped short of executing parents for flouting their "one couple- one child" norm. And now this? It seems that the population of China is ageing very fast. "438 Million people in China will be 60 and older by 2050, leaving just 1.6 working age adults for each elder." says Newsweek.

We with our "Hum do, humare do" policy, which was not that strictly followed anyway, would turn out little better. But from my absolute lay persons view, consider this. All my friends are either alone, or have a single sibling. Our parents come from the great Indian middle class of the 60-s to 80-s. They were educated, politically motivated and ambitious about themselves and their children. Most were still single income households. The middle classes decided to stop after their first two. The next class didnt quite. Hence we still see lesser privileged cousins who have 4 or more siblings around.

With time its gone worse. To provide the best for their children many have stuck to their only child. By then we have come into the "upper middle class" strata. We own a house, a car, and gadgets. SEC (socio economic) class A. We are shrinking at a much greater rate than other SECs.

The first to relise it is the doctors of government hospitals. My sister, who is a gyenecologist, have assisted in the births of more than 4 children from one particular woman in the last 6 years. Rest assured, she is not the only one, nor is my sister the only doctor experiencing this.

Another study, another country. USA- "According to futurist Andrew Zolli people born after 1975 could end up taking care of their mothers longer than their mothers took care of them" (newsweek) Women of our mothers generation are likely to live 18 years into their retirement, a new record! Men follow right behind, though. And USA hit with financial woes, is seeing a new trend of having 3 generations or more under one roof.

We Indians have been there done that long enough to know that it is possible to live that way if there is mutual respect. The kids get company, the grandparents get mental peace and joy, and care in their own house, and that goes on to create a more stable society.

The age of the world is changing. And how!

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