In retrospect, I am not so sure just this large-hearted, good faith benevolence is enough. It is important today to foresee and anticipate the twists and turns that are sure to come up ahead from the upbringing that the www and peers are providing each other. In this instance for example, is enough thought being given to junior’s game plan? Have some all important questions been voiced? Will Junior feel comfortable and be included in the unfamiliar Korean culture? Has the stress of “being different” been factored in? Do we know the inside mechanics of this international rage called K-Pop? What does the competition look like? What are the cultural values you will be up against? How well can you expect to fit in? And should you not make the cut, what is the coping strategy going to be like?
The tyrannical power of my grandma’s generation had given way to a watered-down and benevolent form of authority, a progressive model of parenting tempered with caution. There were no diktats but Dad and Mom’s involvement and active presence were presumed. The heavily authoritative tone of the earlier generation had made room for a moderate, accommodating acceptance based on the premise of the parent holding the superior position.
Though we picked careers of our choices and married people mutually chosen for us, we led our lives with our parents as our lodestars. They were there with us, in all of our life’s events and it was important to keep them informed, connected, and supportive.
The suicides begin in school; continue in college and into the late 20s. Academic stress, highly competitive admissions to prestigious institutions and the whimsical job market are all contributing factors. Add to this the fear of disappointing their ambitious parents and falling behind their peers. Ironically enough, even those students who eventually do pass the entrance exams feel even more pressure to excel at university, often taking their own lives when it all becomes too much.