Growing up in South Korea is scary with moms like these!
A small snippet of what life in Korea really is!
How do children handle all the pressure from parents, school, and society?
In a small country like South Korea, there is only one type of resource, human resources. With minimal natural resources like other larger countries, it has to rely on its citizens to create products and services the world needs. Therefore, within the country, getting an edge on anything, and I mean absolutely anything, is vital to a person's survival.
Although 'Green Mother's Club' wasn't able to draw audiences around the country as much as other dramas, we feel this drama puts South Korea under the microscope of what it feels like to be part of a tiger parenting family. Tiger parenting is a form of strict parenting where parents are highly invested in their children's success by pushing their children to achieve high levels of academic achievement or high status in extracurricular activities such as music and/or sports.
'Green Mother's Club' ended its 16-episode run with the highest viewer rating of 6.088% national viewership on May 26 according to Nielsen Korea. The initial response to the series was mediocre, but viewership was able to increase towards the middle and latter part of the series with an average of third or fourth place in nationwide viewership.
The series depicts the lives of five mothers that live in an ordinary neighborhood in Seoul. But this neighborhood is especially competitive in primary education which causes the housing market to skyrocket in the area. Lee Eun Pyo (Lee Yo Won Different Dreams 2019), a young mother with two young boys, moves into the neighborhood expecting it to be very normal but runs into a group of mothers at the local elementary school who are extremely invested in their children's academics.
Eun Pyo befriends a classmate's mom, Byun Chun Hee (Choo Ja Hyun A Man Called God 2010), who seems to be the leader of the mothers club, as well as juggles her troubled past relationship with her ex-best friend Seo Jin Ha (Kim Gyu Ri Designated Survivor: 60 Days 2019). Each character embraces growth as a young mother while dealing with a complex they cannot overcome. The series is currently available on Netflix.
Check out the cast's episode 1 & 2 commentary!
South Korea is one of the "Tiger" countries where Tiger parenting is acceptable and is expected. Children often as young as first grade (depicted in 'Green Mother's Club') are expected to go to academies after their regular school. These academies often run until the late hours of the night. Many argue that South Korean children cannot enjoy their childhoods since each activity is attributed to them getting into a top-tier university and hopefully a great job.
I've had personal experience with this as I used to work for a company that sang English songs to children over the phone. On multiple occasions, mothers with unborn children would call and ask us to sing to their preborn by placing the phone against their bellies! They felt that the earlier they could expose their children to English, they would be able to get an edge on their child's education.
Tiger parenting has been blamed for the high rates of suicide, especially in South Korea, which has some of the highest suicide rates in the developed world. The stress from constant studying and lack of social life takes a toll on children and young adults leading to anxiety, depression, and antisocial behavior.
We at Dojeon Media want to shed a light on this topic and listen to what you have to say! Please let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!