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What is South Korea parenting style?


South Korea is known for its unique parenting style, which is often considered to be more authoritarian than other styles around the world. This style is heavily influenced by Confucianism and emphasizes the importance of respect, discipline, and academic achievement. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of South Korean parenting and how it affects children’s development.

The Role of Confucianism

Confucianism has played a significant role in shaping South Korean culture and values, including parenting. Confucian teachings emphasize the importance of hierarchy and obedience, which are reflected in the way parents interact with their children. Respect for elders and authority figures is also emphasized in Confucianism, which means that children are expected to show respect to their parents at all times.

Strict Discipline

South Korean parents are known for being strict and demanding when it comes to discipline. They place a strong emphasis on obedience and conformity, which can lead to harsh punishments for misbehavior. This discipline extends beyond the home and into the classroom, where teachers are also expected to be strict and maintain order.

Academic Pressure

South Korean parents place a high value on education and academic achievement. Children are expected to excel academically and often face intense pressure to succeed. This pressure can come from parents, teachers, and even peers, as academic success is seen as a key factor in future success.

Tiger Parenting

South Korean parenting has been compared to the concept of “tiger parenting,” which involves pushing children to achieve their full potential through strict discipline and high expectations. While tiger parenting has been criticized for being too harsh, some argue that it can lead to successful outcomes for children who thrive under this type of pressure.

Gender Roles

South Korean parenting also places a strong emphasis on traditional gender roles. Boys are often encouraged to be assertive and competitive, while girls are expected to be more nurturing and passive. This can lead to a lack of gender diversity in certain fields, such as STEM.

The Role of Extended Family

In South Korean culture, extended family members play an important role in raising children. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles often provide support and guidance to children, which can help to reinforce the values and expectations of South Korean parenting.

The Impact on Mental Health

While South Korean parenting has been praised for producing high-achieving children, it has also been criticized for its impact on mental health. The intense pressure to succeed academically can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety, which can have long-term effects on children’s mental health.

The Importance of Harmony

Despite the strict discipline and high expectations, South Korean parenting also emphasizes the importance of harmony within the family. Children are taught to respect their elders and maintain close relationships with family members. This emphasis on harmony can lead to strong family bonds and a sense of community.

Changing Parenting Styles

South Korea is a rapidly changing society, and this is reflected in changing parenting styles. Younger generations are adopting more Western-style parenting methods, such as allowing for more individualism and creativity. However, traditional South Korean parenting methods still remain prevalent in many families.

The Future of South Korean Parenting

As South Korea continues to modernize and change, it is likely that parenting styles will continue to evolve as well. While traditional values and expectations will likely remain important, there may be more emphasis placed on individuality, creativity, and emotional well-being in the future.


South Korean parenting is a unique style that emphasizes respect, discipline, and academic achievement. While it has been praised for producing high-achieving children, it has also been criticized for its impact on mental health. As South Korea continues to change and evolve, it will be interesting to see how parenting styles continue to adapt and change as well.

What is parenting like in Korea?

Korean culture places an emphasis on family and maintaining family traditions. Children are taught to respect their elders from a young age, resulting in well-behaved and well-mannered kids. Both parents play a role in teaching family values to their children, though it is worth noting that corporal punishment, which is against the law, is sometimes used by parents.

Do Koreans prefer sons or daughters?

Recent data shows that in Korea, there is a growing preference for daughters over sons among parents. This is evidenced by the case of a 39-year-old mother who, despite already having two sons, chose to give birth to a daughter last year. She resides in Suwon, Gyeonggi.

Do Korean children take care of their parents?

Parents give birth to and raise their children, who consequently owe a debt to their parents. This concept is rooted in the duty of children to treat their parents with respect, care for them in old age, properly mourn their passing, and perform posthumous ceremonies for them.

How are families structured in South Korea?

In Korea, the ideal family structure in the past was a patrilocal stem family, which included the father and mother, their oldest son, his wife, and their children all living together. This type of family often consisted of two generations and the eldest son usually inherited the family’s property.

What is mom in law in Korea?

In Korean culture, the husband’s mother-in-law is referred to as 어머님 (eomeonim) or 시어머니 (sieomeoni), while the wife’s mother-in-law is called 장모님 (jangmonim).

What are the traditional Korean family values?

Korean culture values hard work, respect for family, family protection, and proper behavior within the family, which are still important even in the modern world.

One aspect of South Korean parenting that is not often discussed is the importance of physical appearance. In South Korean culture, there is a strong emphasis on beauty and looking presentable, which can translate to pressure on children to maintain a certain physical appearance. This can lead to body image issues and low self-esteem, particularly for girls.

Another critique of South Korean parenting is the lack of emphasis on creativity and individuality. The strict focus on academic achievement can stifle children’s creativity and limit their ability to explore their own interests and passions. This can be detrimental to their overall development and lead to a lack of diversity in career paths.

While South Korean parenting may seem authoritarian to outsiders, it is important to note that it is rooted in a cultural context that values respect, obedience, and academic achievement. It is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach, and what works in one culture may not work in another. It is important to understand and respect different parenting styles, even if they differ from our own.

Overall, South Korean parenting is a complex and multifaceted style that has both positive and negative aspects. While it has been criticized for being too strict and leading to high levels of stress and anxiety, it has also been praised for producing high-achieving children with strong family bonds. As South Korean society continues to modernize and evolve, it will be interesting to see how parenting styles adapt and change as well.

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