Kids grow up fast, any parent will attest to that. So, when is the right time for them to become independent? Is it when they graduate from high school? Perhaps when they get a job? Teenagers may think they can do everything on their own, but they also understand that Mom and Dad are around to protect them. We asked the students from Beanstalk International Bilingual School to tell us their thoughts on parent/child relationships.
Vincent Liu, 15, China, has been living in Beijing for 13 years
Bank Phanthet, 15, Thailand, has been living in Beijing for five years
Courtney Baker, 14, US, has been living in Beijing for seven years
Prisca Pfupajena, 14, Zimbabwe, has been living in Beijing three years
How long should kids live with their parents?
Bank: It depends. If you can find good work after going to a good college and save a lot of money, you can move out.
Prisca: I kind of agree with Bank, because there are times when students need their own privacy.
Courtney: During college, it’s sometimes better not to be with your family so you can know what it’s like to live on your own. Then you’re not wrapped around your parent’s tight little bubble forever.
Should kids have to do chores for their allowance?
Courtney: If you’re just given the money, then you’re not really used to working.
Vincent: In every Chinese family, you’re considered special. They think you should get money from your family and your parents should pay for you.
Bank: For my parents, I do chores and they give me money every month.
Should parents pay for university?
Vincent: My mom told me that I don’t have to work in high school and she will pay for my university. I think I should pay, but if my mom wants to pay then it’s okay.
Courtney: I think your parents could help fund college a little bit. Afterwards, maybe you could just pay your parents back.
Prisca: I think that parents should help you at first to pay for your university fees and once you start working, then I guess you can pay
At what age is someone considered an adult?
Prisca: I think around 18 or 19.
Courtney: It depends on what culture you’re from, but I’d say around 18 to 20 years old.
Would you ever refuse money from your parents?
Vincent: I think children and parents should help each other, so I would not refuse money from them.
Prisca: Let’s say I am working, then I won’t accept the money.
Courtney: I guess it depends on how old you are or if you have a job already. If you have a bit of pride, it might be hard to take money from them.
At what age should kids be expected to get a job?
Vincent: 18, I think.
Prisca: 18 is when you start to become an adult. If you start to work at the age of 16, you might use the money for the wrong reasons.
Bank: You can start working summer jobs at the age of 16.
Should parents be expected to pay for things like phone bills?
Prisca: If it is for phone bills then I think you should pay for it yourself. For stuff like school activities, they can pay.
Courtney: I agree with Prisca about phone bills, but parents should pay for things like movies or going out with friends.
Bank: Sometimes I want something expensive, so I make a deal, like getting good grades in school to get stuff.
Vincent: Yes, parents should pay for your stuff.
Is it reasonable for parents to set limits on what their kids spend with their own money?
Courtney: Yes, because if you have absolutely no limits, you’ll squander
it on whatever you want.
Bank: My parents give me 1,000 kuai a month. If I spend it all right away, I won’t have money for the rest of the month.
Vincent: If I need money, I just ask my mom and then I make my own plan for the money.
Prisca: I think we should have limits. Parents teach you what to spend your money on and what not to.
Should parents have a say on what their kids wear?
Bank: If I go out with them, sometimes they care, but mostly they don’t.
Vincent: Sometimes my mom thinks my clothes are weird, but I still wear them.
Prisca: I think they should, especially for girls. There are things that teenagers shouldn’t wear.
Courtney: I think a parent should, because if they don’t then the kid will go out wearing whatever.
Do kids need approval from parents about which after school activities they participate in?
Bank: Mostly they don’t. My dad will say “Yes,” I just have to call him and tell him where I am going.
Prisca: I think they shouldn’t. For example, I am good at the piano, but my mom won’t let me stay after school and take lessons.
Should parents have a say in the friends their children have?
Prisca: I think they should have a say, because there are some friends that will lead you into trouble.
Bank: Every time I go out with my friends, my parents ask me who I am going with.
Vincent: My mom doesn’t care, because I know who is good and who is bad. And my friends are always good.