A generation of ‘super parents’

Thursday, 2018-05-10 18:23:54
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Parents queue outside a primary school at night to secure a place for their children as registration starts early in the morning
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NDO - Parents across the world should admire Vietnamese parents as Vietnamese parents spend an average of 10 hours per week helping their children with homework, according to statistics released by the London-based Varkey Foundation in The Economist magazine. Vietnamese parents should be proud of themselves for ranking second among the 29 surveyed countries, for their care for their children, while Japan and Finland are the worst in the rankings.

However, the figures only reflect a very small part of the capacity and care that Vietnamese parents pay to their children, especially in urban areas.

Nearly all Vietnamese mothers and fathers in urban areas are likely to win the championship in the speed of making preparations for morning work, including personal hygiene, breakfast, dress up, make-up (for women), among others.

They have to accelerate their pace to the maximum speed, as most parents have the important task of bringing their children to school in time while being besieged by traffic congestion. When their children enter the campus of the school, parents once again face traffic congestion on the rush to their office.

During working hours, another furtive anxiety occurs when they think about matters regarding their children such as what to eat for the dinner? At work, several parents also neglect their duties to go online and hunt for safe food for their family through green farms, rural areas, or through acquaintances that they see as reliable. A lot of parents who are working in offices are also owners of profitable online stores.

Many of them have invested dozens of millions of Vietnamese dong to turn their roofs into gardens to prepare clean food for their families, particularly their children.

Parents who have preschool children have another task of watching their children through installed cameras in their classrooms. Although parents say that the surveillance equipment is to see if their children are good or not, the real purpose is to monitor their children's nannies.

Meanwhile, parents of children at higher levels of school express their jealousy while wishing that every classroom at higher grades of education had a camera.

When the work time comes to a close, parents have to think of their route to pick up their kids from school while avoiding traffic jams.

In the evening, as dinner concludes, it is the time for the ‘learning war’ with children. At peak times like the end of April and early May, when the final exams of an academic year are coming, parents often spend more than 10 hours a week helping their children with their studies.

There were days that my sister, who has a daughter in the second grade, had to stay up til nearly 1am to help her child finish her homework!

Vietnamese parents also race to choose and enrol in the best schools for their kids and take their kids to private tuition of various types throughout the week without any days off.

If people know exactly about the details of a day of a Vietnamese parent, they couldn't help but admire Vietnamese parents.

It is proud to say that we have a generation of ‘super parents’ who are working hard to make money while playing the role of a tutor, a housewife, a motorbike taxi driver, and sometimes a farmer to have more safe food for their family. Concerning the role of a farmer, Vietnamese parents exceed parents in developed countries.

Not everyone wants to be a ‘super parent’. But, who dares to give up this title to become a ‘normal parent’? The number is certainly very small. The road from home to school may be short, but parents do not feel secure in letting their children travel to school alone due to the uninterrupted flow of vehicles which sometimes ignore traffic lights and mounts the pavement in addition to many other dangers.

Who dare not learn with their children? If they do not study together, their children's learning capacity will still be evaluated as good due to the obsession with achievement at schools. Parents also do not dare to put their trust in their children's score-board, when there are many cases of illiteracy among children who are still forced to move up to the next grade and students with average learning capacity become very rare.

Who dare give up extra lessons and private tuition, particularly when they are held by the head teacher, although many find it troublesome and ineffective? All parents are worried about their children when there are many cases of teachers using violence at schools.

At this time, it seems that parents can only give up the role of 'super parents' in two cases, that they are blind to information or they are irresponsible people.