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How to be a good parent

Posted April. 06, 2017 07:21,   

Updated April. 06, 2017 07:30


Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy infamously starts his novel Anna Karenina with the line, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel" took this excerpt from Anna Karenina to explain the domestication of animals. People tend to link the reason for success to one factor, but actually they can succeed when they are able to avoid numerous failures. Anna Karenina's rule applies to the success conditions of parents. A good parent is one who reduces the probability of failure.

In Korea, the top condition and obstacle to be a good parent is "financial ability." Korea Institution of Child Care and Education, a state-owned institution, released a report entitled "A Study on Korean's Awareness as Parents and Their Child Support," where one out of five people picked financial ability as the top virtue that parents should have. One out of three parents picked financial ability as the biggest obstacle to being a parent. The study was based on 1,013 people aged between 20 and 60 (259 unmarried people, including 57 married people without a child).

It is said that Koreans believe they cannot be good parents if they don't have enough money. This reflects the phenomenon of giving up and submitting to the fate that poor parents pass down to children's poorness. Perhaps Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of former President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil, who said "Money is ability. Blame your parents for incompetence" affected the Korean society. The reality cannot be denied that in a society overwhelmed with private education the financial ability of parents affect the future of their children. However, rich parents are not a certified check for being good parents. This is a bitter lesson learned from a 95-year-old father and two sons from one of the top Korean chaebols.

Though financial capability is important, parents cannot succeed in child upbringing if they lack virtues including love and endurance. There is a saying that parents are not people who can make children change immediately, but ultimately. Leading children to a better path cannot be done with money. Good parents share similar quality but bad parents fail due to their own different reasons.