How children in Vietnam are raised

How children in Vietnam are raised is interesting.  The basic fact is they are pampered beyond belief.  For the first 2 years of their the lives, I am surprised they learn how to walk.  They are always being held and cuddled by a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, older brother or older sister.  They receive constant attention, and that attention puts them at the center of the world.  They are more important than anything else in the world.  What ever they want they get; if at all possible. 

My relatives in Vietnam are poor and live in a rural area.  It is their children I saw most.  They don’t have a lot to give.  The desire their child may have may be for that big dirt clod over there, but whatever it is; their parents will do everything in their power to get it for them.  If it wasn’t for keeping them out of traffic; I don’t think they would every hear the word NO!.  They are the center of attention 24 hours a day, and what ever they want, they get.  There is no such thing in this world as child discipline.  Whatever the child wants is an absolute priority.  They don’t have money to buy them lots of “things”, but they are the center of attention.  As I said in the beginning; they are pampered beyond belief.

As someone raised in the USA, I would assume that these kids would grow up to be the most obnoxious, disrespectable and disobedient teenagers that can be imagined.  The opposite, however, is true.  Long before they are teenagers, they are totally obedient and respectful to their parents and anyone else that is older than them.  In a crowd of noisy teenagers, when an adult speaks; there is instant silence!.   How do I explain this; I have no clue, but I have seen it, and I know it exist. 

Perhaps it once existed for us also.  Not for you or I; but maybe our great-grandparents.  There was once a time when old people were important is the USA.  They held the knowledge that the young needed to succeed, and they were the ONLY source for this information. That is not true today.  I may have helped invent the computer and the Internet; but my kids now know more about each of these systems than I do.    Information and knowledge has advanced so quickly that our generation that invented rock & roll, went to the moon, won the cold war, and created the technology the world runs on, has been left behind.  We are not a critical source of information for the world our children live in.  We are someone that is loved and cared for, but we are not the source of information they need. 

I am a super supporter of our younger generation.  I have so much confidence that they will take the world we have given them, and make it a much better world.  The fact that they don’t require us to accomplish this, does not bother me at all.  Our generation gave them the tools, and we can sit back and watch them used those tools.  Maybe they don’t go totally silent when we speak, but the world changes, We have to accept that, and I do. In time, THEY will also have to accept the changing world we live in.

Maybe change will be quickly coming for Vietnam.  Maybe in some large cities it already has, I was only really exposed to life in rural communities.  Maybe because the Buddhist religion emphasizes so much the love of family and respect for elders the status of elders will last longer there.  I just know it was interesting to see…..

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© Jerry Pilson 2013