These aren’t things that one mom once said: they’re things we’ve heard time and again, and which, when we hear them, always cause us to flinch a little… to the complete bafflement of the people–mostly moms–saying them.
So, no, we’re not cherry-picking the really crazy stuff… all the below is from the solidly average, not-extreme-by-general-standards parents. (Yes, mostly moms, because that’s who mostly manages the day-to-day stuff related to their kids’ educations. And yes, solidly middle-class expat Korean families.)
And now, Mrs. Jiwaku has the floor…
1. “My kid is totally passive, he can’t express himself [in Korean], can’t think logically, and isn’t interested in anything at all. Could you please fix those problems?”
(Because that’s totally achievable in two hours a week. Maybe your kid doesn’t need English lessons, just psychotherapy!)
2. “I know nagging is really unhelpful and bad for my kid, but I just can’t control myself.”
(If you can’t manage that little bit of self-control, why did you go and have children in the first place?)
3. “My oldest kid doesn’t seem to have a lot of academic potential. Should I just give up on her and invest in my younger kid instead?”
(Does someone need to totally “give up” on life because they’re not good at school?)
4. “No matter what, please ALWAYS give my child a LOT of homework.”
(If they have tons of school homework AND tutor homework, when are they supposed to sleep? And how are they supposed to process what they’re learning?)
5. “Feel get to get angry with my kid, and be as harsh as you like. I don’t mind!“
(Is this really your kid? Now, imagine him saying the same thing to the staff when he deposits you in that nursing home someday…)
6. I don’t push my kid as hard as other moms do! It’s only two hours of cram school every weekday after school.
(So, quick calculation… 8 hours of school + 2 hours of cram school + 1 hour of school homework + 1 hour of cram school homework = 12 hours a day of academic work. Could you handle that everyday for even one week straight?)
7. “Please don’t teach my kid in a ‘fun’ way, but in a ‘studious’ way.”
(What the hell is “studious” study? Are you saying learning shouldn’t be enjoyable?)
8. “My kid’s too fat!”
(Try sitting at a desk for twelve hours a day without eating healthy food at mealtimes, and see how you do. Also, how the in hell can you go around saying that about your own kid?)
- Can we arrange more lesson hours? I can’t stand to see my kid just relaxing at home.
- Oh, vacations are awful. I can’t wait till the first day of school.
I’ll include the original Korean text beneath the cut, for those who want to see what Mrs. Jiwaku originally wrote. (She helped with and approved this translation above, however.)