Nowadays, the terms “mom-choong” or “aebie-choong” are frequently used on the Internet to describe some weird parents who are not caring for their children properly and even let them loose in public. Some parents seem not to realize that they are doing wrong with nurturing their children. Even if their children do something rude to another, they turn on their counterpart and defend their children saying, “They are still young! Why are you putting my babies down?!” The reason for these miserable phenomena is presumed to be because of the absence of appropriate parent education. Accordingly, voices insisting on the necessity for parent education are getting louder.
There should be an understanding of the true meaning of “parent education” before knowing why it is needed. The definitions of parent education vary according to scholars and researches. Commonly, it refers to all kinds of educational skills conducted to make pre-parents and parents, hereinafter referred to as parents, perform their roles as parents more properly. Its purpose is for parents to truly understand the developmental stages of children and learn about better ways to educate and guide children. As a result, children of educated parents can be improved socially and emotionally, and they can also develop various abilities including language, cognition, and learning.
Fortunately, lots of governmental institutions, as well as some in the private sector, are constantly trying to popularize parent education. In March, for example, the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family announced an Activation Plan for Parent Education to prevent child abuse and enhance family relationships. As a part of the plan, it provided Parent Education Lectures Casebook for University this last July. Some local governments operate their own parent education programs. For example, Seocho-gu operates parent education programs for various age groups: for adolescents to experience the responsibility of being parents, for parents in their pregnancy period to learn about the changes after childbirth, and for grandparents to relieve stress caused by the burden for nurturing grandchildren.
Although there are enough good programs for parent education in Korea, some obstacles make things difficult to go as needed. Thanks to the perception of the need for parent education getting spread positively, some parents are aware of the fact that parent education is important and they want to take programs for it. In spite of this situation, realistic problems such as jobs and household affairs limit participation. What’s worse, still other parents even do not realize the necessity. It would be fruitless unless parents go and participate in one of the programs even though the programs are various and contents of them are perfect.
Jo Eun-hee, the head of Seocho-gu, said, “There is no baby who is born with a manual for parents. Therefore, parents have to learn about parenting in advance to rear children easier and to help children deal with their hardships during their growth processes.” There is also no parent who has a manual of children inherently, and that is why experts put emphasis on parent education; as such, parents can prepare for their children with the help of such a program. According to them, getting parent education will help parents understand characteristics of each growth phase of children and learn timely parenting methods.
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