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  • Indonesian parents and their spoiled children

    Why is it that Indonesian parents spoil their children (manja)?

    It drives me crazy. My sister-in-law has a two-year-old daughter, who is forever being given uang jajan (a few thousand rupiah) to buy bonbon. The result is that she has tooth decay (at age two!), oh and apparently she doesn't like to brush her teeth. So she doesn't have to, because obviously two-year-old children know much better about what is best than their parent's do. Her husband is a useless and lazy, because his parents have a moderately successful market trading business, and so they never taught their son about hard work, because they had money so that means the kids don't need to work.

    My brother-in-law is the youngest of five children and he is also horribly spoiled, my mother-in-law bought him a new motorbike on credit, not a cheap one either (Suzuku FU), and he basically has never done any work in her life, takes drugs, etc. This comes down to him being spoiled from a young age, as the youngest child and also youngest child from his step-parents.

    My next-door neighbour in Indonesia (I don't live in Indonesia) is 21-years old and has never done a day's work in her life. Apparently her older brothers give her money, and she likes to main cewek (cowok) too. I asked her if she would consider getting in a job, she said no, she doesn't like to stay in one place, it's boring.

    Then I read stories like this

    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2...ar-lancer.html

    Basically the leader of successful band Dewa 19 bought his children expensive, powerful imported cars (each!). The youngest, aged 13, is the suspect in a fatal road accident.

    Of course this is nothing unusual. In poorer areas you see 13-year-old children driving home from school on motorbikes. The difference is just the pricetag, those without big fortunes buy their school-aged children motorbikes, the super-wealthy buy them supercars.

    I live in England, in an affluent area, and all the parents (one or both) of children at my kids' school (private) earn £100,000+/year. Some parents are worth millions. Yes they (the parents, not the kids!) have nice houses, BMW X5, etc. But the parents push their children very hard to work at school, they spend their time driving them to violin lessons and drama classes, pushing them to work hard, and when they reach 18 get into Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, etc. There is not even a question of 'we are multimillionaires, so you don't need to work', the money is used to buy the best opportunities, and then when the kids get a job they can make their own way in the world, buy their own car, etc.

  • #2
    This is one of the many cultural traits of Indonesia... I believe it has been posted in the past on the forum.
    [FONT=Arial]Wana come over to Myspace and you can Twitter my Yahoo while I Google your Facebook?
    [/FONT]

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    • #3
      naaa, only for kids who have rich parents, some rich parents just too busy to share their valuable time to take care of their children so the only thing they can do is to do what they can only do, avoiding complaints from their children by giving them expensive toys and gifts, even cars. some of rich parents also have this silly thought, "as long as i have money, i will give and provide everything they want not everything they need. who knows in few years later i will go bankrupt and i will have no more money to spoil my children." some rich parents also spoil their children because they don't want their children to suffer like them and to feel what they feel when they were in the same age. they ignore the bad consequences because it all got covered with the thought " as long as my children happy " , "as long as he stops crying".

      but not all indonesian parents spoil their children as described in your post. my parents are the example. as the first daughter, i know better than my 2 little sisters on how our parents educate all of us. i know how they both struggle in life just to give better education and better life for 3 of us. will they give us any gifts ? of course.. but only in certain condition, sometimes i got my special gift if i manage to get the first or second rank at school but that's how i learned, if you want to earn something, you got to put your best effort and that is also how you earn respect from people around you.
      I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil.i'm just.. human

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      • #4
        Again on the forum we see either unforgiveable carelessness or gross stereotyping: "[COLOR=#333333]Why is it that Indonesian parents spoil their children (manja)?" Why are some posters unable to appropriately use words such as "some" or "certain"? Is it a result of their limited experience? If so are they not able to imagine that their experience is indeed limited. Is it a desire to sensationalise? Is it lack of familiarity with English?

        [SIZE=1]Not the mod JM.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

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        • #5
          Originally posted by john madden View Post
          Again on the forum we see either unforgiveable carelessness or gross stereotyping: "[COLOR=#333333]Why is it that Indonesian parents spoil their children (manja)?" Why are some posters unable to appropriately use words such as "some" or "certain"? Is it a result of their limited experience? If so are they not able to imagine that their experience is indeed limited. Is it a desire to sensationalise? Is it lack of familiarity with English?[/COLOR]
          I'm not sure whose familiarity with English is lacking here.

          I could start a thread 'Why do spiders eat their mates?' or similar - it wouldn't imply that all spiders eat their mates, the word 'all' being conspicuous by its absence from that sentence. There are 40,000+ spider species and 200 million+ Indonesians, and we would struggle to make any but the blandest of observations that could apply to the entire group in either case.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Vie View Post
            but not all indonesian parents spoil their children as described in your post. my parents are the example. as the first daughter, i know better than my 2 little sisters on how our parents educate all of us. i know how they both struggle in life just to give better education and better life for 3 of us. will they give us any gifts ? of course.. but only in certain condition, sometimes i got my special gift if i manage to get the first or second rank at school but that's how i learned, if you want to earn something, you got to put your best effort and that is also how you earn respect from people around you.
            Indonesian lady I know said she sent her kids to (private) school in Australia (rather than in Indonesia) because they made them work in McDonalds (or similar low-paid low-status job) for a summer to teach them about the value of hard work and not looking down on people.

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            • #7
              I see many Indonesian parents who behave like that, but I'm not convinced they're the majority by the simple fact that Indonesians rich enough to shelter their kids from work as adults are still a very small minority. It's easy to get that impression if you frequent Jakarta's opulent malls, watching self-absorbed parents strolling with three kids with as many baby sitters, until you realize only a small minority can afford to shop and eat at those malls.

              I sure wasn't coddled or anything. While I wasn't expected to do household chores, I was encouraged and fully expected to excel at school, and it was clear that my parents would not tolerate bad behavior.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by john madden View Post
                Again on the forum we see either unforgiveable carelessness or gross stereotyping: "[COLOR=#333333]Why is it that Indonesian parents spoil their children (manja)?" Why are some posters unable to appropriately use words such as "some" or "certain"? Is it a result of their limited experience? If so are they not able to imagine that their experience is indeed limited. Is it a desire to sensationalise? Is it lack of familiarity with English?

                [SIZE=1]Not the mod JM.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
                Well said, JM. I think such blanket statements are particularly appalling in a venue like this one. It would be one thing for an Indonesian writer to begin a national conversation on "why do we spoil our children?" But it's another thing when someone uses an expat (i.e., explicitly identified as non-Indonesian) forum as a platform to express utter disdain for Indonesians.

                The OP may think that words and phrases like "some" or "many" or "in my experience" are unnecessary when sneering at an entire nationality. Some of us disagree.

                [SIZE=1]Not[COLOR=#333333] the mod Puspa.[/COLOR][/SIZE]

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                • #9
                  Injun: I've also seen some parents (and perhaps the frequency in Indonesia is higher in my experience than in NW USA) do everything they can not to let their kids cry. I think this is coddling as well.

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                  • #10
                    I was starting to write the examples of the exception to the norm concerning my sister in law but after a small book was written I backed up and dleted it. I think it would have filled a page here and I only just began.

                    i have witnessed what I feel is the extreme side in my own family and fortunently what I think is the norm of a loving family that truely cares about the welfare of their children.
                    [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana]Some love to milk Apostate.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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                    • #11
                      ...a certain level of Indonesian male is breast fed for life...
                      [COLOR=#4b0082].......I write for a living ....and live to write[/COLOR]...

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                      • #12
                        I've seen all sides of the issues. When I've been at higher end hotels, I've been tempted to trip the little fuckers who run up and down the Club lounge at the Grand Hyatt in Jakarta. Other times, I've seen kids who are perfectly behaved, and appear to be as equally well off as the others.
                        Sasa Bule is having a bayi!

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                        • #13
                          I have a nephew, 25 years of age. Attending University to become a Notaries. 5 years of English and mainly knows swear words. Considers himself entitled due to the examples his mother sets. Can't open his own gate even at 3:00 AM. Can't open his own car door at home. Has his own special diet that is made at any time he wishes. Expects everyone to wait on him 24 hours a day and not just household staff, even non immediate family members. Insist on someone laying out the clothes he chooses to wear. Has a car and Rp3jt weekly allowance but manages to get more whenever he wishes. Comes and goes as he pleases. Everyone is below him. Had a fiancé but she was too smart for him. His attitude of her being his property showed his weakness when he became physically abusive because she had lunch with male and female coworkers and she broke it off. She just graduated from med school on a full ride because she is incredibly intelligent. Now an intern. Sister in law was very upset. Crying and wailing. We thought it was because her son did such a cowardly thing but no, it was because she was going to loose what she figured would be free medical care in the future. On and on. The other nephew, 27 is almost as bad. He just never attended any high school or university even though he has diplomas from both.
                          [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana]Some love to milk Apostate.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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                          • #14
                            are we considering Paris Hilton as Indonesian ??
                            you must be very 'lucky' to live in an area where ALL the kids are good kids, like to study, very active in their positive activites, and all will study at oxford, cambridge etc. - are you sure you are not living among the stepford area? :-)

                            anyway, i'm sure you are honest.. that in your view the kids around you are all good and the kids in indonesia are bad. because you only have certain surounding... if you try to dig more about indonesian kids who work hard and managed themselves to be the top rank in their school with their own money.... then you might wont generalize thing here.



                            Originally posted by indomeee View Post
                            Why is it that Indonesian parents spoil their children (manja)?

                            I live in England, in an affluent area, and all the parents (one or both) of children at my kids' school (private) earn £100,000+/year. Some parents are worth millions. Yes they (the parents, not the kids!) have nice houses, BMW X5, etc. But the parents push their children very hard to work at school, they spend their time driving them to violin lessons and drama classes, pushing them to work hard, and when they reach 18 get into Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, etc. There is not even a question of 'we are multimillionaires, so you don't need to work', the money is used to buy the best opportunities, and then when the kids get a job they can make their own way in the world, buy their own car, etc.
                            dont judge a book by it cover. judge it by it price. good books are expensive

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by john madden View Post
                              Again on the forum we see either unforgiveable carelessness or gross stereotyping: "[COLOR=#333333]Why is it that Indonesian parents spoil their children (manja)?" Why are some posters unable to appropriately use words such as "some" or "certain"? Is it a result of their limited experience? If so are they not able to imagine that their experience is indeed limited. Is it a desire to sensationalise? Is it lack of familiarity with English?

                              [SIZE=1]Not the mod JM.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
                              I, for one, understood that not all Indonesians buy cars for their teenage sons, despite my limited experience. I also understand that not all English kids go to either Oxford or Cambridge. Not all pedantry is irritating but some of it definitely is so.
                              "[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.[/FONT][/COLOR]"
                              George Bernard Shaw

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