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Flourishing private etiquette lesson

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By Park Moo-jong

Home education is no less important than school education.

Unfortunately, however, both appear unappealing to the parents of today.

A boom of private manners and etiquette lessons for children proves this trend.

Parents of kindergarteners and elementary school pupils are rushing to private schools teaching manners and etiquette in the wake of the latest series of imprudent behavior of the scions of wealthy families.

Many people may be lamenting, "Where has our traditional education at the dining table gone?"

The monthly tuition fee is as much as 1 million won (about $830) a month! But reservations are full.

Some "wealthy" parents are said even to hire private teachers to teach their children manners and etiquette at their home.

Over the course of two weeks (three days a week), the children learn politeness, how to greet people, how to speak properly, appropriate eating habits, respect, eye contact and how to help out at home among others.

Manners and etiquette for children is, indeed, ranked as the most important quality to nurture in the family home and good manners are essential for every child's self confidence and success in life.

The importance of domestic education cannot be overemphasized. But today such an essential thing is missing in the Republic of Korea.

There are many reasons to blame for the lack of home education.

We are living in the time of not only nuclear threats, but nuclear families with no child or one or two per family at the most.

A natural consequence is that only son or only daughter is virtually an emperor or empress in a family. It is no wonder that such a child is ill-bred.

The "new" social trend reminds me of a book, "How Children Took Power," written by Swedish writer-psychiatrist David Eberhard in 2013.

Calling on parents to seize back control of their families, he warned that Sweden's approach to parenting has bred a nation of ill-mannered brats and now Swedish parents are unwilling to discipline their children in any way. In 1979 Swedes became the first to adopt a total smacking ban.

He laments: "We live in a culture where so-called experts say that children are competent and the conclusion is that children should decide what to eat, what to wear, and when to go to bed."

"If you have a dinner party, they never sit quietly. They interrupt. They're always in the center, and the problem is that when they become young adults, they take with them the expectation that everything is centered around them, which makes them very disappointed," he says in the book.

This is not the story of Sweden only. This is also the story of Korea of today.

Korean parents' blind love and overprotection of their children, plus their unrivaled zeal to send........

© The Korea Times