Essay: Visiting parents in China

Visiting parents regularly is a Chinese traditional moral behavior, also it is a responsibility. Last year, according to the latest amendment in Jiangsu Province, ‘The verdict was the first of its kind given in accordance with the law that requires adult children to regularly visit their elderly parents. It was handed down by the People’s Court of Beitang District, Wuxi City in east China’s Jiangsu Province’ (Jin, &Lidan, 2013, n. p). Some people think the court ruling is right. However, it is unnecessary to have such a law because it is hard to enforce the law, it confuses the elderly and it requires time and money to visit parents regularly.
Firstly, the law which requires adult children to visit regularly the elderly is hard to enforce. Some people describe the law as ‘crossing the river by feeling for the stones’ because there is no precedent before (Jin, & Lidan, 2013, n. p). The frequency for children visiting the elderly and how to punish children who break the law remains vague. Besides, who is the supervisor and how to confirm that all the adult children do visit their parents in the prescribed time are far away from solving. The regulation hardly convinces all the people. Thus, the law is difficult to execute.
In addition to the low feasibility of the law, the law causes puzzlement among parents. Under the enforcement, adult children sometimes have to go home even though they are busy at working or taking care of their children. Such compulsory visiting has little positive effects on family bonds. On the contrary, it causes incomprehension between the elderly and the young people. Parents show understanding for children. Mr. Huo and his wife live in Xi’an, and his daughter lives
in Beijing and has been married. Though each year their meeting time is limited, he maintains that enforcing children to go home regularly is unnecessary. ‘ Parents all want their adult children’s company, but they have own cause and family. As long as adult children are safe and happy, it is enough.’ Mr. Huo said to the journalist, ‘Adult children’s holiday is limited. If the law force them to home, it remains unpractical in terms of income and personal safety. The law just makes us upset.’ (Chuqing, 2013, n. p). Furthermore, it makes the elderly confused. They do not know if their children visit them because of love or the law. Thus, the law exerts negative effects rather than positive ones.
The law not only easily causes upset between families, but wastes a lot of money and time. Some people are able to visit the elderly once a week, twice a week and even more because they live near their parents. However, in terms of those people who work far away from home, it seems unfair to compel them to go home with the same frequency. For instance, in China, there are lots of peasant-workers struggling for a living far away from home. ‘Large scale migration of workers from rural areas to industrial centers and cities, has resulted in old parents being left behind in villages to fend for themselves’ (Avinalobo, 2013, n. p). If the law forces them to spend half of their salary to buy train tickets every month in order to evert punishment, it is totally unreasonable and eventually arouses strong revolt and social panic. On the other hand, workers in factories have few days off. ‘Most of them are not even entitled to have two-days off in a week, overtime is regular and the income obtained during overtime is an important component of the total income for most factory workers (the low basic salary discourages people from taking leaves because their income will be reduced largely even during paid leaves). Application for long-time leave is also not easy to be granted by the management.’ (ricky, 2013, n. p). Limited time means that these workers break the law and get punishment, which is unfair. Thus, there exists no sense to carry out the law.
Actually, caring about the elderly is a responsibility and every adult child should pay gratitude back to parents. However, because of the supervision problems, parents’ confusion and the expensive cost, the law makes no sense. The court ought to consider carefully whether it should be carried out or not. Otherwise ‘using laws to address a moral decline is a grief for our society’ (Jin, & Lidan, 2013, n. p), and the law also hurts the feeling between children and parents instead of a short harmony. Thus, the law to enforce adult children to visit parents regularly is unnecessary.

Source: Essay UK -

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