Participants: Jason, Robert, Wilson, Vina, Yehrung, Angela
See: The Culture of the Market
May I ask a question, if your children asked you, they want to try a little drugs, I want to experience the feeling, what do you do?
Depends, how old are they?
15 to 20 years old.
I think I may tell them there are a lot of things we want to try, specially we think it’s exciting, we’ve never done it before. But we cannot always doing the things we want to. For example, you watch superman jump out of the window and fly in the sky, you think that’s exciting, and you want to try once, but that action may cause some danger to your life. If this happened will you try it? Drugs are the same thing, they’re dangerous for your life, you might die. So in this situation, I think I would asking, in this kind of situation, do you really want to try it? I don’t know, that’s what I thought of when you asked this question. Because I think you tell them, you cannot do this, you cannot do that, they won’t listen, you have to make them think.
But in the end, since it’s not a matter of life or death, I would like to try, so would you respect me?
So you’re just laughing at me.
Well, you’re not a children.
Because when they are very young, I will tell them what should do, what should not do, because it’s easy to except. For example when they’re in first grade, and one day he told me, mom, why can’t I have freedom to watch TV? So I said to him, well since you’re talking about freedom, so let’s talk about responsibility. So every morning we talk about who is responsible for what. So he says he has to go to school, and practice piano and do homework, and then he’s free. But when he grow up, so then it’s easier for him to understand what is right and wrong. Because teenager always just want to be different. If they want to go in opposite from you, it’s difficult to debate with them. So it’s easier if you help them accept things when they are young. Just like when we grow up. Maybe its not really democratic, but when we grew up, we were taught this is right or wrong, so when I grew up I didn’t have difficulty accepting things. But now that society is so individual, its harder, they always doubt and challenge, so I don’t have any best way to stop the challenge.
I agree, we have to do this when they are really young, you have to told them what’s right and wrong. My wife and I usually, when there’s bad news on TV, we tell our children, what caused the result, and let them learn from the real experience of others. And tell them
Yes, …. Well, anyway.
How about you.
Well, in my opinion, I think you as a parent are not doing too bad if you child would lie to ask you before if they should try. I think I would try to share some real examples. If he or she is already up to that age for independence, I will leave the decision to him or her.
Not quite so, I was thinking the relationship matters most to parents and children. I think if they want to talk to you, there’s always a chance.
What about you?
I think the answer is very easy. If your children are between 15 to 21, so the motivation why they ask this question to you, it’s simple, they just want to know what’s your attitude. Because they are old enough. So the answer is very simple. I don’t think it is worth to try. And I will say because., blah blah blah. And then I would turn back the question to them. If you want to try, and you know it’s not to worth do to it, but if you want to try, let me know. Because you add the condition, they are above 15 years old, and they are not kid, they have their ideas. They just want to know what do you think about it. I don’t think they want to follow your rules for the thing. So just tell them your attitude, it’s enough. If they want to try it, a lot of bad thing will happen. So if you try it, tell me, it’s very important.
How about you?
I have a very interesting experience. My oldest son and 10 years ago, one day, he told me, he’s really impressed by smoking, he feels it’s really cool. And I thought: “okay”. I give him money, to go to buy cigarettes and bring it home. And my oldest son sat by my side, and I smoked with him together . One, two, maybe the third cigarette. So I asked him, how do you feel? Not good! Not sweet, not good smell. I said yeah, this is a cigarette. So he never touch it. So one day he grow up, he’s 17, he tell me, I really want to try the drugs. I ask him, where can you buy the drugs? He said, he don't know, but he can try to buy it. I asked him, where, tell me where. He said he don’t know, but if I want, he can try. So I tell him, maybe your friend, maybe you can get the drugs, but it’s not reasonable. He said, hey when I was 10 years old, you smoked with me. But I said, but cigarettes you can buy anywhere. But drugs, it’s not reasonable. I was very serious with him. My son said, don’t worry, I won’t touch it. I said, I really really worry about this! He never talked with me about it again.
Yes, I think drugs and cigarette is different. Especially the source of it.
Yeah, the social structure for getting you hooked is like Amway. It’s limited, you can only get it through certain people, and well, unlike Amway, it’s ‘forbidden’ and therefore ‘cool’, and there’s like this cachet about it. But the main point, like Amway, you buy it through your social connections. And the sellers have an interest in making you a long-term customer, so they invent reasons to have contact with you—like Amway!—and they’re also people you would normally hang out with, so once you buy, it’s really hard to not keep buying, especially if there’s social pressure. You can hang out with drug users, and not be a user, but once you start using, then it’s really hard to stop, because of the social structure of the thing.
Paragraph 9 said young people want to get recognition from other people even thought they don’t have the money, don’t have the power to control the living style, or to decide how they want to do, so they want the recognition from other people. If the kids is only 10 years old, he want to get the, maybe some recognition from his parents. But young people after age 18, they just want recognition from his or her friends. So it’s important for, it’s related to this article. If the young people they have enough money to support this living style, they also want to use money to maintain the relationship with his friends, so my question is, do you think our young people really face this kind of problem? In Taiwan its serious or not? As Vina said, you saw the Commonwealth article saying the drug problem is very common in our high schools. So the problem is, if this problem is very common in Taiwan, what’s the real issue to cause this problem to be serious. Our young people can't get enough money?
I used to discuss this with my husband, but the topic was different. We were talking about campus violence. When I say, my idea is that if I found there is a campus violence, I will transfer my kids out of the school, just try to get away from, just to protect children from—
So you say the kids face campus violence, so you would put them in a different school?
Yes, because I don’t want them to have them surrounded by this. But my husband grew up in Shalu in Taichung county, so there’s a lot of violence there, and he’s a male, so as boys grew up, he had a lot of chance to face this issue. So he said the best thing is to teach him how to protect themselves—and run fast. You can tell who is good for you, and how to avoid, so you know this kind of thing. So that maybe the situation will be the same. The mother’s point of view is to protect the children from those kind of exposure, but maybe the way of facing is much important than getting away from, since we can’t protect them all the time. But we keep arguing, since we haven’t faced the situation yet. So there’s different ways of dealing.
For my kid’s example, when my kid was in 6th grade, his classmate suicided, because they said they watch the TV use the knife to cut their hands. So it’s a kind of, they want to try it. Because one of their classmate want to do suicide. But that is a real case in my school. So the schoolteachers notify—
High school or elementary?
—so the teacher want to cooperate and want to teach the kids and explain why they cant try it. But for the real suicide kid, it’s a different way to maybe, to help him to resist that suicide behavior. But for normal kids, you just need to let them know why it is not a good behavior, even you want to mimic it. So that’s a real case for Hsinchu. It’s a kind of media effect. They watch the television. We cannot protect them well. We need to teach them case by case. When one problem happen, we need to face what cause it.