Date
16 December 2017
German parents want their kids to learn how to deal with hardships at an early age, so as to better prepare them for the future. Photo: Internet
German parents want their kids to learn how to deal with hardships at an early age, so as to better prepare them for the future. Photo: Internet

Lessons from German parenting: let’s stop pampering our kids

Some Hong Kong kids are being mocked because they can’t seem to live without their nannies, who carry their school bags for them, hand them the tissue when they sneeze, or even help them tie their shoelaces.

Quite a few local parents want to do everything for their kids. To them, that’s how good parents should be.

German parents, by contrast, are said to place a high value on independence and responsibility. Most grade school kids walk to school or around the neighborhood without their parents.

Each year many German parents send their children to visit some impoverished countries in South America or Africa to experience how it is to live in an environment where even the basic necessities are hard to come by.

Such trips are not about sightseeing or having fun, but a learning experience on how to handle hardships and adapt to a new and challenging environment.

Despite being relatively well off, German parents don’t pamper their kids because they believe that that would only spoil their kids, and kids who grow up overly protected won’t have the self-control and self-management capability crucial to living a proper adult life.

Pampered kids are also likely to take things for granted and develop a disrespectful attitude toward others.

One day, kids have to live their own lives and take care of themselves.

Bearing that in mind, German parents pose challenges to their kids while they are still small, rather than spoiling them and leaving them helpless in the future.

That’s probably one of the reasons why the German economy is so vibrant despite the many global uncertainties.

German kids also perform well above the international average, according to various assessments.

If Hong Kong parents really want the best for their children, perhaps they should rethink their approach and take a leaf from their German counterparts.

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CG

EJ Insight writer

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