Recent entertainment programs such as ‘Daddy, where are you going?’, ‘Return of a Superman’, and ‘Oh my baby’ are gaining immense popularity as people’s interest in childrearing increases. Parents or pre-parents are given the opportunity to think about parenting skills through watching celebrities taking care of their own children. But the fact is that there are quite a few parents who are not yet prepared. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 37.7% of child abuse is committed by parents with a lack of childrearing knowledge. Thus, the problems occur when unprepared people become parents. The interview with Prof. Lee, Bangsil was intended to give helpful child care information so that Gachon Univ. students could be good parents. She is currently a professor at Gachon University and a researcher at Sesalmaeul. She has also recently appeared as a guest on the TV program ‘Oh, my baby’. Let’s enter the interesting world of parenting with a baby specialist.
1. How did you come to have an interest in this field? < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
It was in the 8th grade when I started to have interests. Since I was a child, I had many nephews and nieces so I usually took care of them during traditional holidays and I enjoyed it. When I found out that there was a Child Education Department in college, I was drawn to this field. Come to think of it, my dad used to play with children a lot so I have more memories of playing with my dad than spending time with my mom. I think that also affected my studies because I enjoyed studying my field a lot. I think this is the best job for me because I’m still enjoying it.
2. Please introduce <Sesalmaeul> where you are working as a researcher.
Sesalmaeul was first built in 2011 in the hope that Gachon Univ. could contribute to the social welfare of families. Sesalmaeul is managed on the basis of the belief that the development of a person under the age of 3 will have a great influence on his or her entire life and it is needful to respect the life of a child. This institute’s tasks are divided into three parts: research team, support team for childcare at the development clinic, and the education team (business team). The education team has two parts: parental education for pregnant women, and grandparent education and celebration of birth activity. Parental education for pregnant women helps to provide a better understanding of pregnant women and supports the emotional stability of all the family members. Grandparent education helps grandparents to take care of their grandchildren so that they can grow healthy and smart. Celebration of birth activity is to celebrate a baby when he or she is 100 days old.
3. What do you think about sudden concerns with childrearing caused by entertainment programs?
First of all, it makes people become more concerned about childrearing and reflect on their childrearing while watching how other people raise their children. Even though the program has some entertainment, it is a good program to make people get used to children. But, what I'm concerned about with this program is that while filming this kind of TV program, people's privacy can be exposed and a child might feel stressed because it takes a long time to film one episode. I think it would be better to add a little bit of a coaching program, but not a 100 percent coaching program like 'My Child Has changed".
4. Who has the most desirable childrearing attitude in cast members of various programs?
(Yoon,Minsu, Sung,Dongil, Tablo, Choo,Sunghoon and Song,Chongkuk)
In my opinion, I think Tablo seems to be the best father. He tries to look at everything from his daughter's perspective and respect her. The next best father is Choo, Sunghoon, but he looked a little bit cold to his child. Song, Chongkuk is not bad, but sometimes it seems that he disciplines his child without consistency. Sung, Dongil, he is a father who makes me curious about his childhood. During the first broadcast I thought ‘How can he do that to his child?’ He is the unskilled father. However, he seems to be improving through the program. Yoon, Minsu teases his child too much and sometimes makes his child frustrated. In conclusion, I think the most desirable father is Tablo because I think the best way to raise a child is to treat him or her with love and love contains respect. In parent education, we call this childrearing method the 'democratic childrearing attitude'. In this childrearing attitude parents and children respect each other on equal footing and mediate differences of opinions. The reason why this attitude is desirable is that children don’t have their self-respect hurt. But parents should also learn to express their feelings to their children and tell them what's wrong and what's right.
5. How can you correct a child’s bad habit? For example, a habit of pulling the power line of TV.
Pulling power line of the TV seems like a bad habit to adults, but to children it is a way to grab people's attention. Before you discipline your child by saying it is a bad habit, you should think whether the child's behavior is a natural stage of development or just a bad habit. Knowing how to distinguish between these two decides good or bad parenting. In order to change an inattentive behavior, above all you should prepare an environment in which children can concentrate. And you need a toy that can catch the child's attention completely. To concentrate on one thing might be difficult for children under elementary school age. So rather than trying to fix their inattentive behavior you should create an environment where the child can concentrate. How long they concentrate is not important. Second, when children are around 18~24 months old, they become stubborn because a sense of ego is formed. At this age discipline is very important. It is necessary to discipline according to clear standards and you need to set the standards which can be followed consistently. Also, rather than just punishing them you should make your child learn a sense of responsibility. For example, if a child has a habit of sucking their fingers, you should try to understand why he has the habit and lead him to play with more interesting things.
6. What is the 'Do not do' list when raising a child?
I would have to say corporal punishment. The purpose of corporal punishment is to prevent a child from making the same mistake again by getting them to remember how painful it was when they behaved inappropriately. However, true education is not so much about making them remember the pain as making them remember the joy of doing something. The next thing I worry about is that parent’s inconsistency causes children to feel like they can't trust anything. The third is parent’s indifference or acting without attachment. Attachment is indispensable to child education since it develops into trust. I just want to say ‘Don't try to teach your child something if you are indifferent to them.’
7. How does dual career parenting affect child education? If we have a dual income, I wonder when the proper period is to have a child.
There isn't a proper period. I think the early childhood lasts until the 3rd or 4th grade. The separation from mother in this period tends to hurt a child psychologically more than afterwards. I think the very idea of parents being separated from their child is not good for the children's mental health. And I also think that children who are under the age of two should be taken care of by their mom. But in reality it’s often impossible. Pedagogically the at-home-parent does not necessarily have to be the mother. What is important is that the person looking after the baby should not change. When a baby expresses his or her feelings and the reaction of the person who is looking after him/her is not consistent, the baby might feel unsafe and uneasy, which eventually might have negative effects on his or her personality.
8. Recently, lots of parents give their child an English education in foreign countries during early childhood. What’s your opinion about that? What’s the appropriate age for studying abroad?
I do not recommend that children study abroad. According to research, children under the age of 12 have a different brain structure than adults and teenagers. So when they study abroad during their early childhood years, they may speak English as fluently as a native speaker, but don't you think that the child is giving up a lot just for English? Young children might have a hard time in a totally strange environment and being separated from their parents. Therefore I recommend that a child should stay with a parent while studying abroad.
9. What’s your advice to collegians as pre-parents?
I think the most important thing for pre-parents to learn is that there is no child with a problem. The only problem they have is that they have a problem parent or teacher. That is, the environment they are living in is the problem. Parents have great influence on their children. Being a parent is a huge responsibility. Parents should consistently be concerned, make an effort, and learn to be better parents.
Through this interview with Prof. Lee, Bangsil, I hope it is easier to learn good parenting. We should learn what to do and what not to do when raising a child. We should also think about how our parents raised us and how in the future we will raise our kid. And when we watch entertainment TV programs concerning children, we need to watch them and think about what childrearing is good for a child. Prof. Lee, Bangsil said that the things you learn when you are young might last forever. I hope that this article helps Gachon collegians to be good parents in the future.