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Korea: Anti-Mother Internet Cafe

A teenager made an internet cafe (internet club) with the name of ‘Anti-Mother Cafe’ and many young people joined it. As we can see from the name, it is for teenagers to criticize their own mothers. A number of teenagers joined and the criticism is quite shockingly harsh. Giving a big shock in Korean society and having so much strong and fast attention, the cafe closed instantly. Some of them are concerned that filiality and respect toward parents which Korean society has emphasized have disappeared and others feel sympathy for those teenagers. Netizens are provoked to ask questions about why teenagers hate their own parents so much and what problem brought this about.

Many netizens mention that too much stress for study leads to the collapse of relations between parents and children.

1:

오늘 인터넷을 하다가 엄마 안티카페라는게 있는걸 알게 되었습니다. 어떤 여학생이 만든 카페라는데 지금은 비공개로 됐다는 말도 들었습니다. 어머니와 굉장히 친해서 스스럼 없이 지내는 필자로써는 이해하기 힘든 현상입니다만 최근 우리나라 학생들의 생활패턴을 지켜보자면 그럴수도 있겠다 싶습니다. 그렇다고 그 사람들이 옳다는건 아니지만요. 요즘엔 초등학생들도 학원을 평균 3-4개를 다닌다는군요. 피아노, 태권도등 예체능계는 물론 영어, 수학, 논술 등 이른바 공부학원들도 많이 디닌다네요. 학생들에 따라선 과외도 한다는 말도 들었습니다
 
 
저희집은 3남매입니다. 제일 위로 형이 있고 그 다음에 누나 제가 막내지요. 저희 형은 컴퓨터, 서예학원을 다녔고 누나는 피아노와 가야금 저는 미술, 검도, 서예학원에 다녔네요. 저희 삼형제가 학생시절 내내 다닌 학원들 다 모아서 7개군요. 요즘 학생들은 학원 7개를 동시에 다니기도 한담니다. 어떻게 보면 저희 부모님에 저희를 방목한 것일지도 모르죠. 특히 저같은 경우는 형, 누나에 비해 성적이 현저하게 낮았어도 공부로 스트레스 주신적이 없었습니다. 제가 스스로 공부할 때를 기다리셨죠. 그 땐 잘 몰랐지만 지금은 그런 부모님의 배려가 얼마나 어렵고 소중한지 알게 되었습니다. 끝까지 저를 믿어주시고 저를 기다려 주셨던 거죠
 
 
아까도 말했듯이 요즘 학생들은 학원 3-4개를 동시에 다님니다 학교수업보다 학원수업이 더 힘들다는 학생들의 말을 들을때마다 저의 어린시절과 너무 큰 차이를 느껴 혼란스럽기만 합니다. 성적이 좋지않게 나오자 엄마한테 미안하다고 하는 중학생의 이야기에서 과연 저 아이들에게 순수함이란게 남아 있는가 남아있다면 내가 알고있는 순수함과 어떤 차이가 있길래 이런 이질감이 느껴질까 합니다. 아침에 일어나서 학교수업이 끝나고 학원수업을 마치고 집에오면 10시가 넘는 어린 학생들의 일상 물론 저도 고등학교땐 늦은 시간까지 자율학습을 하고 왔지만 초, 중학생들도 이러한 생활을 한다는 사실에 당혹스럽기만 합니다.[..] 
 
‘토요일에도 공부를 시켜 자살하고 싶다’ 엄마안티 카페에 올라온 글의 일부입니다. 성적이 잘 나오지 않으면 엄마가 걱정할까봐 시험때 컨닝한 여중생. 그리고 그 아이에게 한번도 성적 스트레스를 준적이 없다고 생각하는 엄마. 물론 이 카페에 가입한 학생들이 모두 지나친 공부 스트레스로 인한 불만을 표출하기 위해 가입한 것은 아닐것 입니다. 부모란 존재에 대해 잘못된 인식으로 인한 현상일 수도 있습니다. 하지만 그들 모두 어린 아이들이고 그들의 행동의 모든 책임은 그 아이들의 부모에게 있다고 봅니다. 그 아이들의 부모가 자기들의 아이들을 믿고 자기 아이들에게 믿음을 줬더라면 과연 그 아이들이 이러한 카페를 만들었을까요?[…]

Today, I heard about the ‘Anti-Mother Cafe’ on the Internet and a girl student opened this internet cafe, but it is closed already. I am close to my mom and therefore this news shocked me, but I understand why this kind of thing happens at present. I am not supporting what she did as right. Recently, primary school students usually go to 3-4 private institutes. As well as piano and taekwondo, they go to studying institutes, such as English, mathematics, and writing essay. Some of them have private tutors.

My parents have 3 daughters and brothers. I have an older brother and older sister. My brother went to computer and calligraphy institutes. My sister went to piano and Korean traditional harp institutes. I went to art, fencing, and calligraphy institutes. So it was total 7 institutes for all of us. But at present one student goes to 7 institutes. Then it seems that my parents didn’t care about my siblings and me so much. In my case, my school achievement was much worse than my siblings, but they never gave me pressure. They waited until I feel for studying. At that time, I didn’t know well, but I acknowledge how considerate my parents were. They trusted me to the end and waited for me.

But students now go to 3-4 private institutes. Rather than official school, they say they have hard time due to study at private institutes. I feel so much difference from my childhood. When I heard from a secondary student who apologized to his or her mother because the school achievement was not good enough, I was wondering whether those students are still naive. They wake up early. After finishing their school day, they go to private institutes and come back home after 10 pm. Of course, when I was in high school, I came back late. But when I heard that primary and middle school students are already doing that, I was shocked. […]

‘I would like to kill myself because I have to study even on Saturday.’ It was one part of writings from the ‘Anti-Mother’ cafe. A secondary studentcheated on an examination in order to have a good score not to let her mother be worried. A mother thinks that she never gave any pressure to her children regarding exam scores. Of course, I don’t think that all students joined this cafe in order to express their dissatisfaction and to complain due to study. It could be the symptom that they have wrong perspectives about parents. But they are all children and teenagers. Responsibility for their behaviorl goes to their parents. If they trusted their children and let their children trust their parents, would those students be making the cafe?[…]

2:

[…]학교 교육이 조금만 더 제 자리만 잡아도 사교육문제등의 제반 문제는 대부분 풀린다. 그런데 왜 공교육의 질을 높이기 위한 교사의 자질 향상은 제쳐두고 엉뚱한 데서 해답을 찾으려는지 아리송하기 그지 없다. 학교 교사의 자질 향상에 초점을 맞추는게 최우선이다.[…]

If the school education system is good enough, problems about private education would be solved. Disregarding the improvement of the quality of teachers in public education, we just try to find answers in other places. Focusing on improving the quality of teachers is the most important principle.

3:

아이를 한명 키우는 아버지의 입장에서 여러가지 생각이 드는 사건이네요.[…] 교육은 인륜지대계라고 하지만 비정상적인 사교육 열풍은 나라의 성장동력을 떨어뜨립니다. 학부모들이 좀 각성했으면 하는데..참…안타까울 따름이네요. 저런 안티까페를 만든 아이들에게 패륜 운운하기 전에 부모들, 정말로 각성해야 합니다.

As a father who has a child, this is an event whichs leads me to have several thoughts[…] We say education is an important matter in life, but abnormal wave of private education is lowering dynamic growth power. I hope that parents reflect themselves through this incident. Before we criticize kids who joined the cafe, we parents should reflect on ourselves.

4:

[…] 요즘의 교육은 그야말로 엄마들의 대리전이라고 불러도 과언이 아닙니다. 내 자식을 남들보다 낫게 하기 위해.라고 말씀들 하시지만. 사실 자녀가 춛분히 그 사실을 인지할수 있도록 이야기 해주는 부모는 거의 없습니다.무조건 학원을 보내고 학교에서 12시 새벽 한시까지 야간학습을 하고[…]

[…] When I look at education at present, I think that it is the proxy war for mother. Even though we say we do so in order to make our own children better than others, parents don’t even explain to their children. They just send their children to private institutes and let them study until 12 am or 1 am. […]

 

7 comments

  • wrong system

    I believe the enrichment courses could be carried out in school as part of the class lessons and should be able to finsh within the school hours or extended the hours at not more than total 7 hours.

    The school can engage these institutes through open tenders to offer these courses in the school instead.

    The ministry of education can also coordinates the tenders through writing up the specifications on how the course, that at the end of the course, will help children in achieving or attaining or acquiring the level of skills or the common knowledge of it, etc.

    Eudcation is stressful to children evrywhere in the world. The problem is how to contain the courses to within the capacity hours they can cope with.

  • curious mother

    Mothers often think their children are like robotic machine.

    They sent them here and there to study without they knowing why they were there to do.

    In addition, the competitive nature of the culture makes it more competitive to ourselves than to the system instead.

    It is about time the parents will reduce their expectation of the students. However most of all, it is the Govt who should take responsibility to reduce the school system..

  • kind grandmother

    During our times, the way we educate our children were different from now. The education system is good that children need not have to study extra after their usual times of classes in school.

    These children were now successful in their vocations. This showed there were nothing wrong with the past education system.

    But now all these extra after-school classes did not help bring in more to the person. In fact it brings in more miseries to their lives.

  • wicked mother

    My mother used to tell me why we have to study hard. But we used to take her advice like a nag. But the problem with us actually lies with the school system… Why is the school system is so pressurized… Who wrote those school subjects. Can we stretch those subject at our own pace and speed…

  • Teacher

    I am a teacher. I have something to tell mothers that poor result does not mean your child is lousy and lazy.

    I hate to study in my early years and I did not like to study those extra subjectss. Many students had the same problems like me.

    It is because we got distracted with other activity, it is also that 80% of us are in the “not-so-smart” distribution curve.

    So that does not mean we are stupid, right?. I can say we are just “slow learner” at that age on that particular subject.

    If we were to take the same subject again in a year’s time or two or even 10 years later, you can be sure you can pass it. This is because we learn along in our lives.

    So dont worry so much about education. we can learn it in our lives.

    What is important is that we must take schooling as an enjoyable activities of studying, playing and fun.

    There is on thing on my mind that I must say to you is that our school system is lousy..and it is behind time.

    They should look to other countries that use other methods of learning to interest students.

  • Restarant chef

    Life is not about education. life is not about study and studying.

    The stressful education is problem in Asian cultures. It is not easy to change it. This is because it is the fault of the competitive system in the culture of society.

    The damage that the competitive society caused to parents give rise to more of other problems in the future.

    For example, children who got married later in the life will not want to have children anymore.

    They will have a phobia of having to pressuriize their children like they suffered the same fate in their early years from their parents.

    The best is for the education ministry t orelook at which subject is not important and which one is not necessarily to be examined and tested.

  • I have learned so much from reading this post and the comments. Thank you.

    Now I understand why people from some countries seem to have an infinite capacity to work on academics. Although I’m an academic, I can say with assurance that life is about much more than competition or academics. Learn the art of chilling.

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