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‘Never be obedient to your mom’

Posted November. 18, 2017 07:41,   

Updated November. 18, 2017 09:02


Mother who is highly enthusiastic about her young child’s education is called “soccer mom” in the United States. The term derives from mothers who follow their children even to a soccer field and take care of everything for their children. The term changes to “helicopter mom,” if mother continues to hang around her child to interfere with every matter even after the child has grown up.

Mothers’ excessive protection of children and enthusiasm for their children’s education should be avoided, but giving children best education to ensure a successful career is common interest of all mothers, whether it is in the West or the East, past or present. Since long ago, children’s college admission process has been a proxy war among mothers. As college administration programs have diversified in Korea, competition in intellectual and financial capabilities among mothers who strive to send their children to prestigious universities has intensified as well. There are many “exemplary sons daughters” who have faithfully followed their mothers’ saying “all you have to do is to study” at prestigious universities in Korea. In a special lecture on Thursday, Korea University President Yeom Jae-ho said, “Never be obedient to your mothers,” which drew attention from the public. That is, he was advising students to become “pioneering intellectuals,” rather than trying to instigate students to be disobedient.

The special lecture on the day was arranged as part of an exchange lecture program in which Korea and Yonsei presidents reciprocally visit each other’s school to give lectures. “It is meaningless if your goal is just to enter Samsung or Hyundai Motor and retire through regular retirement. You should keep in mind that most of what humans are currently doing for living will be replaced with artificial intelligence,” Yeom said, urging students to change their way of thinking. While only 6 percent of Korean children in school ages went to college in the 1960s, as much as 75 percent of children in the age group go to college now. The significance of college education has thus effectively declined. The problem is that no matter how much our world has changed, mothers are still exercising influence on their children’s future based on an outdated barometer from the 20th century, or some 20 to 30 years ago.

Books on how to study written by students who ranked No. 1 for academic performance in their schools suggest none of their mothers pressured them to study or monitored their daily schedules. A “devoted” mother and an “obsessed” mother might be little different after all. An obsessed mother manages matters that her child can do alone. If your child gets comfortable with excessive protection since childhood, he or she will fail to develop the capability to solve problems and come to lose self-confidence. Mothers whose children are successful in education and career suggest that they should trust and encourage their children to help find ways by themselves, rather than demanding children to follow mother’s instructions.