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What are Korean parents like?


Korean parents are known for their strict parenting style that often prioritizes academic success and obedience. However, there is more to Korean parenting than just this stereotype. In this article, we will explore what Korean parents are really like and the different factors that shape their parenting philosophy.

Cultural Background

To understand Korean parenting, it is important to consider the cultural background of Korea. Confucianism, which emphasizes respect for authority and elders, has had a significant influence on Korean society. This has translated into the importance of filial piety, or respect for one’s parents and ancestors, in Korean family culture.


Education is highly valued in Korean culture, and parents often prioritize their children’s academic success above all else. This can lead to intense pressure on children to excel in school, with high expectations for grades, extracurricular activities, and college admissions.


Korean parents are often known for their strict discipline style. Punishments such as spanking or verbal reprimands are not uncommon. However, it is important to note that discipline does not always mean punishment, and many Korean parents also emphasize positive reinforcement and setting clear expectations for their children.

Familial Roles

In traditional Korean families, gender roles are often defined and strictly adhered to. Fathers are typically seen as the breadwinners, while mothers are responsible for the household and childcare. However, this dynamic is shifting as more women enter the workforce and challenge traditional gender roles.


Korean parents have high expectations for their children’s behavior and achievements. This can include expectations around manners, respectfulness, and academic success. These expectations can be motivating for children but can also lead to high levels of stress and anxiety.

Emotional Expression

Korean parents may not always express their emotions openly, as it is seen as important to maintain a sense of harmony and respect within the family. However, this does not mean that Korean parents do not feel emotions deeply or care for their children.


Communication styles in Korean families may differ from those in Western cultures. Direct confrontation or criticism is often avoided, and respect for authority is emphasized. This can make it challenging for children to express their opinions or feelings openly.


While filial piety and respect for elders are important values in Korean culture, there is also a growing emphasis on independence and individuality. This can lead to tension between parents and children who may want to pursue different paths or lifestyles.

Parenting Challenges

Korean parents face many of the same challenges as parents around the world. Balancing work and family life, managing conflict within the family, and raising children in an increasingly complex world are just a few of the challenges that Korean parents face.

Changing Parenting Styles

As Korea continues to modernize and change, so too do parenting styles. Younger generations of Korean parents may have different priorities and approaches to parenting than their predecessors, reflecting shifting cultural values and societal expectations.


Korean parenting is complex and multifaceted, shaped by cultural traditions, societal expectations, and individual values. While there are certainly aspects of Korean parenting that can be challenging or even controversial, it is important to recognize the deep love and care that Korean parents have for their children. By understanding what Korean parents are really like, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity of parenting styles around the world.

What are the characteristics of Korean families?

In traditional Korean families, the father or husband held the role of head of the family and expected obedience from his wife and children. However, in return, he would offer guidance, protection, and kindness. This cultural norm was patriarchal in nature.

What is the characteristic of a Korean mother?

Korean mothers are known for their high levels of dedication and devotion to their children. They are willing to make any sacrifice, even their own lives, in order to ensure the well-being of their children. This is a well-known trait within Korean culture.

Do Koreans take care of their parents?

Parents are owed a debt by their children for giving birth to them and raising them. This debt is the basis for the concept of filial duty, which involves showing respect to parents, taking care of them in their old age, providing them with proper funerals, and performing ceremonies for them after they have passed away.

What are the Korean values of family?

Korean values such as hard work, respect for family, family protection, and proper behavior within the family remain important even in modern times.

What are 5 Korean family values?

Several customs and values rooted in Confucianism in traditional Korean culture include obedience to fathers, wives submitting to husbands, children obeying their parents, filial piety or respect for elders, deference to civil authorities, and an emphasis on education, according to Lehrer’s research in 1996.

How do Koreans discipline their kids?

Korean parents instill moral values in their children as a means of discipline, with punishment as a last resort if needed. They also encourage self-discipline and provide support in all aspects of their children’s lives. Parents have high expectations for academic achievement and aspire for their children to be more educated than themselves.

The Role of Extended Family

In Korean culture, extended family members such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles play an important role in the upbringing of children. They may provide support for parents and help with childcare. This can also lead to closer family relationships and a sense of community.

The Importance of Food

Food is an important aspect of Korean culture and family life. Korean parents may place an emphasis on home-cooked meals and traditional dishes. Mealtimes can also be a time for family bonding and sharing stories.

Religion and Spirituality

Religion and spirituality are also important factors that may shape Korean parenting styles. Christianity and Buddhism are two of the most common religions in Korea, and parents may incorporate religious values into their parenting approach.

Technology and Media

Like many parents around the world, Korean parents must navigate the challenges of raising children in an increasingly digital age. They may struggle with setting limits on screen time or monitoring their children’s online activity.

Celebrating Achievements

While Korean parents may have high expectations for their children’s academic success, they also place a strong emphasis on celebrating achievements. This can include holding elaborate graduation ceremonies or throwing parties to celebrate milestones.

The Impact of Globalization

As Korea becomes more connected to the global community, parenting styles may continue to evolve. Exposure to different cultures and ideas can lead to more diverse approaches to parenting, while also bringing new challenges and opportunities.

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