Are parents here more protective to their kids than the West?

Having a teenagers in our household made me think a lot now. We have boys and girls here. My kids, whenever they go somewhere they have to tell us where they are going and who they are with. We tried not to be so over protective. It is hard though. Just like Aaron, he likes to hang out with his band mates. We will allow him but just not to stay out late. We usually not allow our kids to go out during school days. As you know here in the Philippines kids school hours starts really early. So we tried not to let them go hang out with friends during school days. They have to go to bed at a certain time for them to have enough sleep time. Our kids have to eat dinner before 6:30 in the evening. So that after dinner we as family still have time to hang out together before their bedtime. That’s why Bob and I hardly go out with friends during night time. We spend our evenings with our kids. Hang out place would be our bedroom. Just talking or watching shows with them. Sometimes during weekends we will have movie time and will have popcorn and other snacks while watching movies.

Philippine Kids
Philippine Kids

I know some parent in the West and here, hang out with their kids like what we are doing. I think some parents are just too busy with their lives that they had no time to stay with the family. I’ve notice though some parents here allow their kids to go out at night during school days. The kids can even stay up late at night. The next day that kid still had to wake up early and go to school. Some kids even go to internet cafes and play games till late at night or at the coffee shop and some parents were okay about it. At the end the grades will surely suffer. I know for sure it ain’t happening in our household. We have a college niece right now. She’s not going out to hang out with friends during school days either, unless she’s making projects with them. She can hang out all day with her classmates during weekends or during non school days. We’re allowing her to have her classmates over to our house during weekends and can do projects with them or they can go somewhere to the mall or something.

I think you’ve notice that lots of boarding houses for rent in the city especially near the school. Some kids that’s staying in the boarding houses some of the landlady/landlords are strict with the rules. They have curfew hours. A lot of the parents wants a  landlady/landlords that can look after their kids. If the kids not following the rules the landlady/landlord will most likely call up the parents and talk to them.

Philippine Parents
Philippine Parents

In the West the parents can really be protective to a certain point. By the time the kid reach the legal age, the parents almost always have no say of what they are doing. Especially the kid will be out of the house of the parents mostly by the age of 18. I’ve seen friends that I used to hang out there before and they have kids that’s over 18 now. Those kids were already out of the house in which its not bad. Most of them turned out good. Really it just the way they were raised from the start I guess. I’ve had kids from my friends before that I’ve been friends with them now on facebook. They are my connection to their parents. They turned out really good kids. I’m very happy for them. I’m also proud knowing these kids.

I guess it just comes down on how the parents mold the kids from the start. No matter what part of the world you are, it doesn’t really matter. I’ve seen kids that was totally screwed up here. Parents giving up of being parent seen here too. It’s depressing. I’ve seen that too when I was in the States. Very different world nowadays. But one thing I can say though, the world is totally different now than when I was growing up. Before kids were more respectful to elders and caring. I think its that way in the West too before.

Peace to all!

Post Author: Feyma (353 Posts)

Feyma Martin is a Columnist here on the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine, she is the wife of site Publisher, Bob Martin. Feyma is originally from the Philippines, but went to the USA for 10 years after marrying Bob in 1990. Bob & Feyma moved to the Philippines to live permanently in 2000.

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  1. Kris Finch says

    Children and families are far better looked after in the Philippines than in the UK, we have lost the importance of families in the UK…..this has brought social breakdown.
    Filipino’s may not have great financial wealth but they are some of the richest people in the world when it comes to family and a smile.

    • Jim Hannah says

      I understand what you are saying Kris, but I think it’s a bit of a blanket statement to say that “we have lost the importance of families in the UK…..this has brought social breakdown”. There has been change over the last 40 years, for sure. When I was around ten, I could play outside until around 7pm in the Summer, earlier in the Winter. At the weekends, I could go, more or less, where I wanted with my friends, within reason. We might walk four miles or so, play on the golf course a mile or so away, or we might just play in the street. The naughtiest thing we might do is to throw mud at someones washing hanging out to dry. But that was a “biggie”, with many risks of what would happen if you got caught. At the same time, there were very wild kids who’s parents clearly didn’t care…who would steal bicycles, shoplift from shops etc. That’s what people of the time would not have referred to as “social breakdown”, but only because no one spoke with fancy terminology like that. Today, I think, it’s just the same…some are naughtier than others. But kids play habits have changed…bikes are less popular, computer consoles are in.

      Parents today, generally, are less confident about letting their kids roam freely. Kids are dropped off at school by car, instead of walking, which would be much better in every single respect on every single level, in my humble opinion. Even I don’t want my kids to be out of our garden, or at least out of sight. It has to do with our being conditioned that that is appropriate; but if so, how are the kids to learn street wisdom and independence? I always knew, without ever being told, that if you saw someone rough looking, or drunk, that you crossed the road or kept well away from them; that you ignored them and certainly didn’t talk to them. That was instinctive in us then; today the kids seem to have little if any of such instinct. So times have changed for sure, and I regret it indeed. But still, I can’t bring myself to let my children play somewhere out of sight unless I know she is with another child who’s parents are responsible. Perhaps THAT is the social breakdown…that we, as parents, have lost our trust?

      In the Philippines, I’ve noticed that things are a lot more like they were in the UK in the 1960’s…kids play along the road, over the fields, whatever, but not always in sight of the parents, because that trust is not yet eroded by, imho, namby-pamby-do-gooders telling us that we must not do this, or we must do that, that we should worry about x, y and z.

      Like most people, I reckon I understand what’s changed and changing, but I know the change isn’t always for the better, and I do resent it. Also like most people, I don’t have an answer for how to reject the not so good changes.

      • says

        Hi Jim Hannah – Good points there. Lots of it I agree. Parents nowadays felt paranoid by what we saw on the news and net. I for one get scared sometimes of whats happening to the kids on drugs or being kidnap and murdered and so on. It scared the hell out of every parents for sure. I remembered growing up in the province, our house not totally locked during night time, my siblings or cousins were out and come home late. My parents were not scared then. I know now that I might freak out if one of my kids will not come home during the time they are supposed to come home and they are not answering their cell phone at the same time too. Really big changes before and now, its good and bad.

        Good thing now new technology is in. I know all of us could never go back without internet. I really like a lot of the new stuff now. So get whats really good about having the net and apply in life and trash the bad stuff.

        With regards to the parents, just keep an open communications with your kids.

        Thank you for your nice comment and advice. Keep it up!

      • marjorie says

        Hi Feyma and Jim.

        I think Jim is right about the do gooders, even in the 70’s early 80’s my kids went off for hours, playing in the fields. We lived in a small village and maybe that made a difference.

        There were ‘bad people’ around then, but we seemed to have a sixth sense who to stay away from. We were taught to say Good Morning etc to whoever we met, now people cannot look you in the eye as the pass you in the street. It would have helped if teachers had taught the difference about being polite and standing talking to, or getting into cars with strangers.

        Feyma you still worry about them when they are in their 30’s. My son went out when I was staying with them and did not come home till 4 in the morning. He had a load of text messages from his wife and myself, but had never thought to switch his phone on, or let us know he was helping a friend. Neither his wife or I could get to sleep. Boy, did he get an earful from us both.

        Luckily our neighbours children play out here, but they have boundaries. Also other people keep a watch over them too. There are not many cars come up here so that is a big help.

    • says

      Hi Kris Finch – I’m glad that the Philippines still have the family togetherness. I remember growing up my dad would always butcher some pigs or chicken every weekend for family get together. It was fun to remember, we always look forward for the weekends to come. Like now its nice to hear my nieces and nephews reminiscing how happy they were to be at my parents house during weekends when my parents were alive. Nowadays one of my siblings wants us to have a get together for all of us, but the schedules just not permitting us all to be together though. Really good to look back over the years.

      I know lots of families here still get together every weekend. Families still the number priorities. I agree that Philippines still value the family and had a big smile even with so much hardship in life.

      Thank you for your comment. Have a great day!

  2. John Miele says

    Feyma: Well, Juanito is still little, but I think that I probably have more trust of other adults here than in the US. I know for a fact that any adults in our compound will help him out were he to get hurt or get into trouble (and we would do likewise… I have had kids in the neighborhood come to the door with, “Tito, the basketball broke the neighbor’s flowerpot” and so on.). I also notice that the older kids will keep an eye out on the younger kids to a far greater extent here. Perhaps due to larger size families here?

    • says

      Hi John – Hey, who would not want to help out Juanito, he is so adorable. Seriously though, I agree with you, you could trust more here. More people more helpful here too. Kids are more at ease here dealing with older people. No hesitation of using the code names for elders like Kuya, Tito, Ate, Tita, Loa, Lolo and others. The bigger the family the better. Lot more will help out.

      Thanks John for the good insight. Highly appreciated.

  3. says

    I think the protectiveness of the parents only goes up to a certain age in the Phil. What with the number of babies my wife’s teenage relatives are having, I’m not sure there is a whole lot of “protection” happening in the province! I’m only being slightly sarcastic. Like John mentioned, in the US, the parents are scared to let their kids go out unattended. In our subdivision, almost every child waits at the bus stop with their mom or dad.

  4. says

    Hi Brent Johnson – What can I say. Lots of teens mom here, that’s for sure. I wish it will change, but I know its far from that. I know what you mean by kids unattended. Just driving by at any roads and you can see little children walking by themselves without parents or other older sibling with them. It scares me, but that’s the reality here. Kids grow up to be more independent here sooner than we know.

    Nice to see you here again. thank you for stopping by!

  5. Steve Maust says

    We are not as protective here in Philippines as in other places. I can tell you that while in Kuwait our son would not be out of the house at all. But that is why I have made the choice for them to be in Philippines. I wanted them to have a place to play and enjoy being a child. They can run in the yard and they go to neighbors houses to play with their children. Yes we do keep a watchful eye over them but not as close as in other places. My 2 year old even he can be found in the nieghbors place surrounded by 10-15 other children! Mostly older girls that just want to “protect” him. I think it is funny how these little girls look after him and are not asking for money to do it. Kind of like having a baby sitter. I really like that about living here. All we have to do is call one of their names and like an echo it goes through the community until I hear that little voice saying “Daddy I am right here playing!”
    I do believe it is all in the way you bring up a child. Teach them proper and they will not depart from those ways.

  6. Opus says

    It’s a roll of the dice on how kids will end up, even with protective parents. There are plenty of examples out there of kids who are given everything and, yet, they end up screwed. Then, there are those kids who grew up with nothing going for them (e.g. drug addict parents, sexually abused, foster homes), but it’s that struggle that toughens them up to want to succeed to become respectable citizens. It’s scary that my 6 year old niece owns an Ipad, wants an Iphone, and knows how to text message. My friends’ kids have their own Facebook page which is constantly updated on what they are doing, even at school. I remember when Walkman cassette players were only to be used before school and after school. Anytime else, it would be confiscated and the parents would have to ask the teacher for it to be returned. Times have changed.

    • PapaDuck says

      Mrs Feyma,

      Good article, alot of good info. When my kids were small they never roamed around w/o me or there mother supervising them. Sometimes they would not like it. But they all turned out great, never got into any trouble. Take care and have a nice day.

  7. Mark G. says

    Hi Feyma,
    Maybe because we are in the province I think the kids actually get less supervision than in the city or the USA but not to their detriment. To parrot what other folks have said here it’s similar to the way I was brought up in the states; gone all day but never thinking about making trouble because of the known ramifications. The kids are left to their own devices and keep an eye on each other. Generally the modern worlds insecurities have not invaded the island yet. Respect for the family, personal responsibility and a sense of community still exist here.
    Mark G.

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