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Our Children and Our Korean Experience
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Velvet Sea



Joined: 09 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:03 pm    Post subject: Our Children and Our Korean Experience Reply with quote

Many English speakers are now coming to Korea for a short term or long term experience teaching english. For those of you who plan to go back to your own country and start a relationship, get married, and have children, do you have any thoughts on how your experience in Korea will influence how you raise your children? I've often thought about the morals and health issues that may effect my parenting ways (directly or indirectly) when I go back to Canada and have children. Maybe from the lessons I've learned from observing Korean parents????

I'm not getting any younger I guess that's why this question often enters my thoughts.

Will there be a whole generation of us English teachers that raise our children eatting different food (healthier food), influencing a strong work ethic, having higher acheivement expectations, etc, etc? Some of us might see that North American children amoung other countries around the world have it too easy.

What are your thoughts? Out of curiousity, for those of you married to Korean woman or men are there often conflicts on your ideas of raising your children?


Last edited by Velvet Sea on Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Corporal



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally haven't seen too many "Korean" parenting methods that I've been positively influenced by.

Mostly I see kids running unattended around their apartment buildings in the streets. Or being forced to attend hagwon after hagwon so that they're burnt out before they're 10.

Just this morning while outside the post office I saw a mother whose (maybe) 2-year-old toddler had wandered off (because she wasn't watching him properly). When she discovered he was on his way towards the street she took off after him, grabbed him, smacked him HARD on the butt and yelled "hajima" about fifty times in the poor little guy's ear. Now this is just my impression, but she looked furious (rather than concerned that her child was about to get run over.)

I'm sure everyone will feel the need to jump in and defend Korean mothers now, but this is just what I saw, and it's not the first time either.
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makushi



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corporal wrote:
I personally haven't seen too many "Korean" parenting methods that I've been positively influenced by.

Mostly I see kids running unattended around their apartment buildings in the streets. Or being forced to attend hagwon after hagwon so that they're burnt out before they're 10.



Word!

Seen it a thousand times. In fact, half the announcements in our big brotha loud speaker are parents looking for their lost kids. This, during a time when kidnapping is becoming all too common, is frightening!

Hagwons = expensive babysitters that allow the parents to rationalize the fact that they aren't spending any quality time with their children.

I could go on but I won't.

Positives...the diet is definitely better here than in North America.

Korean parents are definitely better at instilling a huge guilt trip on their children so that they are forced to spend their entire adult lives waiting on their parents (a positive if you are a parent!)
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HardyandTiny



Joined: 03 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would put less emphasis on higher education and more emphasis on becoming a skilled craftsperson, for example; learning how to build strong customized wooden or metal furniture.
It seems no matter where I go in the world there is a great demand for quality workmanship and few people that can do it.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 12:14 am    Post subject: Re: Our Children and Our Korean Experience Reply with quote

Velvet Sea wrote:
Many English speakers are now coming to Korea for a short term or long term experience teaching english. For those of you who plan to go back to your own country and start a relationship, get married, and have children, do you have any thoughts on how your experience in Korea will influence how you raise your children? I've often thought about the morals and health issues that may effect my parenting ways (directly or indirectly) when I go back to Canada and have children. Maybe from the lessons I've learned from observing Korean parents????

I'm not getting any younger I guess that's why this question often enters my thoughts.

Will there be a whole generation of us English teachers that raise our children eatting different food (healthier food), influencing a strong work ethic, having higher acheivement expectations, etc, etc? Some of us might see that North American children amoung other countries around the world have it too easy.

What are your thoughts? Out of curiousity, for those of you married to Korean woman or men are there often conflicts on your ideas of raising your children?


There is one very important thing that my Korean wife and I agree upon. We will not subject him to the Korean educational system. As well, we certainly do have different perspectives on how to raise children but we've learned to compromise. I daresay that you are painting a rosy, perhaps even naive view of how Koreans raise their kids.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corporal wrote:
Just this morning while outside the post office I saw a mother whose (maybe) 2-year-old toddler had wandered off (because she wasn't watching him properly). When she discovered he was on his way towards the street she took off after him, grabbed him, smacked him HARD on the butt and yelled "hajima" about fifty times in the poor little guy's ear. Now this is just my impression, but she looked furious (rather than concerned that her child was about to get run over.)

I'm sure everyone will feel the need to jump in and defend Korean mothers now, but this is just what I saw, and it's not the first time either.


Sounds like my mom, actually. No wonder I'm told I look Korean so damn much. (?!?!?!?)

What would they even call people like that? Little Debbie's Christmas Tree Cakes?
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Velvet Sea



Joined: 09 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I daresay that you are painting a rosy, perhaps even naive view of how Koreans raise their kids.


May seem a little naive, but I guess I am trying to look at the positive aspects in some respect. Too much focus on the negative it seems! I would like to think that as Canadian, American, etc parents we could take a little good out of some of the negative ideas of Asian parenting styles.
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GirlFromMars



Joined: 15 May 2003
Location: Corea do Sul

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found that travelling and living abroad, in general, has influenced the way I plan to raise my kids, at least in the sense that I'll adopt a very open minded approach

plus, teaching really gives you the opportunity to observe a whole range of children at close-hand, sometimes the parenting influence is soooo obvious. i feel like slapping some parents sometimes when i see how their kids act.

oh and diet makes a huge difference, yes teach them to eat healthy and above all avoid preservatives and additives.
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Cthulhu



Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange, but I seem to get the impression that Korean parents are too soft and unwilling to discipline, yet I run into these examples (such as the present one in this thread) where the opposite occurs. I know Korean parents work their kids to death in the hagwon chain gang, but do you think the norm is to spare the rod or use it full force? From my experience I think the former is true more often.
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jh



Joined: 04 Jul 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:38 am    Post subject: A Parent and a teacher Reply with quote

Okay, I would like to reply to this post because I am a parent and a hagwon teacher. I wonder how many of those who responded are parents?

I would like to raise my kid here, and there. I am not an apologist - I'm not apologizing for the Korean system; rather, I am defending it. I like it. I think it's great. Kids have loads of fun at these hagwons. Plus it gives them a chance to have fun with other kids. Were it not for these hagwons, our children would not have the opportunity to make friends and "play."

The truth is that the majority of the kids in Korea are not "forced" to attend these hagwons; instead, they whine and badger their parents to send them. These hagwons are expensive - at least mine is. And if they aren't one of the more expensive ones, it doesn't matter because they add up. I wonder how many of us "teachers" would be able to afford to send our kids to two or three hagwons - English, Math and Taekwondo?

And before you say, yeah, right, English, sheesh! Well let me tell ya, there are lots of foreigners with kids born and raised in Korea, and their English is just as big a problem as any other Korean kid. Sure, they might be slightly better than their Korean counterparts, but how do you think they fare with their buddies back home? And that is the criterion by which we measure our kids. How many of us have tried to learn another language without having been to that country? Trust me, it ain't easy.

In the Korean ESL world, the kids are not really subjected to "grueling" study programs; rather, they are subjected to ineffectual, boring, time-consuming and energy-consuming classes that are really a drag both for the "teachers" as well as the kids. So they next time a kid complains about how many hagwons he has to attend, try to read between the lines.

The Korean school system is such that there aren't any "extra-curricular" programs. There aren't any school basketball teams or volleyball teams or debate clubs or school bands. That is where the hagwons come in.

As for the condescending remark about the absent-minded mom chewing out her kid. As a parent, I totally understand that mom. You see, everything changes when you're a parent. Your preception, your thoughts, your very consciousness. I have two rebuttals to this one.

One, the responder just naturally assumed that the parent was more furious than concerned about the welfare of her kid. What gall! What arrogance! Sure, that is what it looked like to you. Corporal, you are not a parent, are you?

Maybe it's a cultural thing, in the West, we assume that everyone is different, and we should celebrate that difference. The downside to that is the perception that everyone is warped and *beep* up except me!

In the East, we assume that everyone is the same, and we should learn from one another. The upside to that is that we think everyone is just as smart and knowledgeable and as loving and caring a parent as me! It sets the tone for social interactions.

Regardless of culture, the caring and nuturing of our offspring is a well-documented scientific trait of the Human animal - all humans, you schmuck! In other words, Koreans love their kids just as much as people from wherever it is you come.

Second, aside from the very socially conscious, upper crust "white-bread" (sorry for generalizing here) families where corporeal punishment is seen as barbaric, I would think that the MAJORITY of North American parents smack their kids when they don't behave or stay in line. I sure got many a "lickin'" when I was a young 'un. If you have never been smacked on the bottom when you were a kid, this explains lots!

All right I will conclude by saying that I want my son to gain the Korean experience, and this means attending some school here, too, but I don't want him to fall behind the kids back home. And when I say fall behind, I mean English, in addition to all those wonderful experiences that could only be had in the West. Korean kids fare better in terms of math and science. As for the other "humanities" subjects, that comes with English. I am not belittling them. Korean kids learn a lot about European history, in Korean. They just can't express it in English, so they are simply thought of as ignorant.

I don't have enough to send him to an International School, and anything else might as well be "Wonderland."
The question is "when?". Preschool? Elementary? Middle School? High School? University?

University is not so far fetched, when you take into account the fact that it is easier for Korean kids to attend an ivy league or equivalent top-notch Western university than it is for "Western" kids who have gone through the American secondary system. It's political, economical, trust me; 'tis true.

As for kids running round the apartment blocks. I think it is a great thing. It's unthinkable back home, right? So, try to think why I think it's a great thing, from the kids' point of view.

Aagh... I have rambled. This is another one of those traits about parents, or is it? Perhaps it's just moi.

jh
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Ody



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: over here

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if i'm not mistaken jh, more than a couple of the posts above are by parents.

when I was pregnant, and during the 1st couple years of parenting, i had to hold myself back from criticizing the actions of other parents (as corporal may also do when not shrouded by her online identity).

my own point-of-view falls somewhere between the western and korean sensibilities. here are a few examples:

1. stateside, my attitude is way more relaxed than that of my western peers. in fact, i got on best with the Egyptian women in my old neighborhood. Those born in the U.S. were more uptight, with (in my opinion) the most rigid parenting group being the Indians (from India).
2. when visiting Korea with my son, i noticed that the kids his age acted way more grown-up than he. there they were, 2 and 3 year olds (western age) walking around with their little backpacks! rarely did i see these little people being coddled by their mommy and daddy, as was the case with my boy.
3. In Korea, i am strict compared to my son's classmate's parents. i just won't take any s**t from a bratty (Korean age) 6 year old! my husband and i definitely acknowledge the fact that (for example) Korean-American children are measurably better behaved than Korean-Korean kids.

Nutrition-wise, i've always been health conscious. my boy stills hasn't a taste for soda.

As far as schooling goes, my little one makes the same speaking grammar mistakes my students do, screwed-up prepositions, verb tense, and agreement (to name a few). i think private academies are mostly good. We will most likely send our son to study martial arts, definatly English, and hopfully (ka-ching) whatever other discipline he's interested in pursuing.
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OiGirl



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Location: Hoke-y-gun

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: A Parent and a teacher Reply with quote

jh wrote:
I wonder how many of those who responded are parents?

Corporal, you are not a parent, are you?

Anyone who has been here for more than four days or who has reviewed a few old threads before jumping in and posting knows that of course Corporal is a parent.


Last edited by OiGirl on Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 9:29 am    Post subject: Re: A Parent and a teacher Reply with quote

jh wrote:
One, the responder just naturally assumed that the parent was more furious than concerned about the welfare of her kid. What gall! What arrogance! Sure, that is what it looked like to you. Corporal, you are not a parent, are you?

.

jh



Corporal said that it was just her impression. She didn't assume anything...unlike you. Next time read the post a little more carefully. You are a fine one to be talking about gall and arrogance when you can't even read a post correctly.
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makushi



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to a psychology book I recently read, there are two important attitudes that parents have towards their children that result in four distinct parenting styles.

Warm vs. Cold + Restrictive vs. Permissive

Warm + Restrictive = Authoritive
Warm + Permissive = Indulgent
Cold + Restrictive = Authoritarian
Cold + Permissive = Neglectful


Authoritive parents were controlling but warm, establish clear rules and consistently enforce them, reward children’s compliance with warmth and affection, communicate high expectations, and support. This style is associated with the most positive child outcomes, children tend to have higher self esteem, fewer conduct problems, and are high achievers in school and are…MORE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS!


Indulgent parents have warm and caring relationships with their children, but don’t provide guidance and discipline that helps their children to learn responsibility and concern for others. Children tend to be more IMMATURE AND SELF-CENTERED.


Now to make a sweeping generalization, I’d say that Korean parents are, during the younger years anyway, much more indulgent than authoritive. There isn’t much communication as to “why” things need to be done, and very little effort at setting and consistently enforcing rules.

99 percent of the Koreans I meet are amazed that our two boys (ages 3 & 5) go to bed before 9 PM every night. In fact, even though they admit they’d like their children to go to bed early too, they mostly feel that it’s kind of “cruel” to push to the kids to bed before they want to go. Rolling Eyes

“So what do you your kids until 11 or 12 at night,” I ask. “Watch TV” is the most common response.

The same line of reasoning applies to all the garbage that they allow their kids to eat. Any of you noticed how many young kids here have major tooth decay problems. But hey, it’s “cruel” not to give them what they want.

Major point…Korean parents are too indulgent and fail to teach real responsibility and critical thinking.

Again…I could go but I won’t.

And I’m not saying that “western” parents are any better or worse. I just personally believe that it’s tougher to be an authoritive parent than an indulgent one, however the benefits are clearly there for the parent and, and more importantly, the child.

Unfortunately, many (most?) Korean parents favor the indulgent style, probably because it’s emotionally easier on them to be this type of parent, the results of which are obvious.
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Corporal



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do happen to be a parent, as some here have pointed out, but even if I were not, I resent the implication that that would somehow make me unqualified to comment on parenting styles.

Empathy, intelligence, and a little imagination go a long way.

Which is a why a teacher can be a good teacher or a bad teacher regardless of what degrees he or she holds.
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