▲ Image related to low birth rate (Source: Kookmin News)
On the 9th, the Committee on Low Birthrate and Aging Society posted a video titled, 'Tell your child: “it's okay!” (Etiquette Campaign)'. The video starred Dr. Oh Eun-young of the Department of Mental Health Medicine and consists of situations in three places: restaurants, parks, and workplaces.
First of all, in the restaurant episode in the video, there is a scene where a child is crying and complaining at a restaurant. Then, customers around them look at the child and parents at once and frown. In response, Dr. Oh Eun-young appeared and said, "The child is anxious in an unfamiliar place. Please understand the expressions of children's minds as they are different from adults." Then, a male customer who was frowning earlier said, "It's okay. The children may do that," and the child's father thanked him. In the second episode, in the park a couple runs into a child who is running, while they are walking in the park with coffee. The couple pours out the coffee they were holding, making their clothes dirty, and the child bursts into tears. Then Dr. Oh Eun-young appeared and said, "Because the child is short, his vision is limited, and he is immature to use his body deliberately. I want you to be generous with a growing child." In the last episode at work, a man, who was working overtime received a call from a daycare center saying, "It's past the going home time, what time are you picking up your child?" As soon as the man replies, "I will go as soon as possible," the boss gives him a negative look. In response, Dr. Oh Eun-young said, "If parents don't come at the appointed time, their child feels anxious and scared, as if he is left alone in space. For a child, parents are their universe.” Then the boss said, "It's okay. It's time to get off work, so hurry up and go." Lastly, the video ends with the comment, "A little etiquette that cares about children. Every child is everyone's child."
The "Etiquette" campaign has been embroiled in controversy since its release, being posted on various online communities. In response to Internet users, there were also positive responses such as, "Children are the weak and consideration is natural," "I think I can understand children a little more after watching this advertisement," and, "That consideration is not excessive in the era of low birthrates." However, negative opinions, such as, "Before the other person says it's okay, parents should have apologized first," "It's important to be considerate, but it's a problem to think of it as a natural right," and, "Children these days run away without reflection." One netizen even strongly criticized, saying, "There is so much controversy over Mom-bugs (an expression that criticizes a nuisance mother), and it is an advertisement that does not fit the social trend."
The main reason for the negative response to the, "Etiquette," campaign seems to be concerns about the growing number of parents, who take consideration for granted. It is ethically natural to consider a child who is socially disadvantaged due to their innocence and as a person, whom we all have to protect, in a low birth rate society. However, it is desirable for parents to always express their gratitude for the consideration of people for their children, and educate their children to grow up to be people who can practice their consideration in the future.
By Seo Ji-min, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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