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Should children be allowed to ‘grow up naturally’, or shaped in certain ways?

Last update: 07:30 | 07/11/2017

VietNamNet Bridge - More and more parents believe that it is necessary to let their children grow ‘in a natural way’, and that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. However, the ‘natural way’ remains unclear to them.


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Tran Thanh Huong in Hoang Mai district in Hanoi, who has a son in primary school, always encourages the boy to spend more time to relax. She thinks that he spends too much time on studying and doing homework.

The mother has a PhD and had to study hard overseas to obtain the doctorate. However, she doesn’t think that her son needs to study too hard day and night. Spending many years overseas, she saw how foreign students study,

“They (foreign students) don’t spend all their time on doing homework exercises like Vietnamese, but on entertainment and extracurricular activities as well,” she said.

“While the girl who lives the next door has to go to extra classes on Saturday and Sunday, my son spends all two days to travel of play games,” she said.

More and more parents believe that it is necessary to let their children grow ‘in a natural way’, and that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. However, the ‘natural way’ remains unclear to them.

Ha Mai, a parent in Thanh Xuan district, said the teacher of her daughter, a first grader, always complains about the girl’s bad writing. However, Mai doesn’t care much about the complaints. 

“My daughter needs some more time to adapt to the schooling environment and exercises,” she said. “Her classmates can write and read better because they learned to read and write a year ago.”

The parent said her daughter has a passion for drawing and she doesn’t think it is a problem.

“I will be okay if my daughter is not good at math or natural sciences. She can become what she wants and I respect her will,” Mai said.

While Hanoi’s parents urge their children to study hard to be able to pass the exam for schools for the gifted, Mai said she doesn’t intend to send her daughter to the schools.

“My daughter is not a prodigy. So I don’t think she needs to study at a school for the gifted,” she said.

However, Mai admitted that she doesn’t know how hard her daughter should learn and how often she should go out to relax.

Director of the Institute of Education of Human Potential Development, Nguyen Vo Ky Anh, commented that parents now have two extreme views. Some believe that children need to study hard from childhood to be able to gain achievements in the future, while others believe that children need to study to obtain basic knowledge.

However, he warned that parents of the second groups may miss out on opportunities for their children to develop specific abilities.


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Le Van

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