Go to contents

Son Woong-jeong learns from books how to raise kids

Posted April. 18, 2024 07:48,   

Updated April. 18, 2024 07:48


“When my son is too busy reading books, I put earmarked memos I write in my reading logs at his bedside,” said Son Woong-jeong of Son Football Academy, the father of South Korean football star Son Heung-min, at a press conference where he released his second book, “I Read, Write, and Throw Away.” He summarized interviews he had with poet Kim Min-jeong based on six reading notebooks written by the director himself since 2010.

Son Woong-jeong is well-known as an avid reader who reads as many as 200 to 300 books a year. However, he does not force his two sons to read as much as he does but recommends looking at his reading logs. “As part of later-life preparations, I try not to nag my already full-grown sons,” he said. “I even have no idea where my elder son’s family lives. Adult children are supposed to become disconnected from their parents.”

Son Woong-jeong underlines the crucial role of parents in helping their children unearth and harness their talents, a key to ensuring their happiness. He shares his own experience of traveling with his young sons, even when it meant they had to miss school. “Parents often steer their children towards societal ideals of wealth and success, rather than nurturing their innate talents,” he observes. “Creating an environment where children can develop their abilities and choose their own path is more important than pushing them to excel academically.”

He also stated that parents are sometimes supposed to be strict, saying, “We are often told that parents should be their kids’ besties, but it is only an obvious dereliction of duty. Parents are the only ones who should say ‘Over my dead body!’ in a strict, consistent way.” He said that it became obvious to him that asking children a lot of questions makes for great parents, remembering how often he would ask his sons what they would want to be and what would make them happy. Heung-min used to say that it is soccer that makes him happy. “Parents are not supposed to dictate their children’s behavior but should follow their lead on the path,” the father said.

사지원 기자 4g1@donga.com