Overindulged, Vietnamese children can't stand on their own feet

Many children from well-off families tend to rely on their parents, and don’t learn how to stand on their own two feet, as the saying goes.

Ton Nu Thi Ninh, a respected veteran diplomat and educator from Hue, was the main speaker at the Youth Dialogue on independence and autonomy which took place in HCMC late last week.

Overindulged, Vietnamese children can't stand on their own feet

Mrs Ton Nu Thi Ninh at the Youth Dialogue

With a friendly smile and an inspiring voice, Ninh said Vietnam is pursuing a passive education regime, which makes young people think they don’t have any problems.

In Vietnam, many wealthy people program the lives of their children from childhood to adulthood. They arrange overseas study in California and Texas, buy villas, and hire housemaids to take care of their children.

“This is a kind of overprotection, which is just like keeping children in ‘golden tunnel,” Ninh said, comparing it the education method in the US, where 15-16 year-old children are encouraged to become independent.

In Vietnam, many wealthy people program the lives of their children from childhood to adulthood. They arrange overseas study in California and Texas, buy villas, and hire housemaids to take care of their children.

Ninh also mentioned the life of the descendants of influential families. In this case, the problem lies in the parents’ behavior. They abuse their power to arrange good study and job opportunities for their children. The exam score cheating scandals in some northern provinces in 2018 in which many high ranking officials of local authorities got involved is a typical example.

There is a question about why Vietnamese who are recognized clever and industrious cannot shine. Ninh believes that the problem lies in the lack of thinking, while their abilities cannot be developed well.

 

“An object needs to be thoroughly polished to become a gem,” she said.

The famous diplomat commented that Vietnamese youth always try to find answers to questions, but they don’t think of raising questions. A lot of questions youth raise to her are ‘superficial’ with no depth of thinking.

Everyone’s life is a path, she said. There are different paths, smooth and tough. No matter what path people go, they need to know who they are. Only when understanding one’s character will youth have the foundation to become self-controlled.

“Nowadays, people tend to blame modern society for corrupting human nature. But in fact, it is not faulty, and life depends on yourself ,” Ninh said.

She advised youth to practice four things to become independent.First, they need to be good at their professional knowledge. Second, they need to keep a cold head and a warm heart. Third, they need to learn from school, books and life and listen to others. And fourth, they need to lead themselves before leading people.

Ninh worked as a diplomat for over 20 years, specializing in global issues and multi-bilateral institutions.

 Mai Lan

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