Benesse survey shows “What Tokyo mums really want for their children” isn’t prestige or success

retr. Dec 11, 2010 Straits Times

What mums really want for their children

TOKYO: Tokyo mothers want their children to grow up to treasure friends and avoid bothering other people. Those in Beijing hope theirs will prove talented at work, while Seoul mums want their kids to show leadership.

In general, a survey of mothers in five Asian cities – Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei – showed that Tokyo mothers stressed human ties while those in the other cities were more success-oriented, said a research institute linked to Japanese education firm Benesse Holdings.

While mothers across the board said their top wish for their children is that they would become ‘people who cherish their families’, their next two desires varied widely.

Mothers in mainland China said they hope their children would be ‘people who display skill at their jobs’ and ‘respected by others’, while those in Taipei value the ability ‘to persuade others’ along with being ‘skilled at work’. Seoul mums want their kids to show leadership and make money.

Not surprisingly, for prestige-hungry China, nearly 70 per cent of Shanghai mothers and 62 per cent of those in Beijing said they wanted their children to attend a famous university, surpassing even South Korea – where mothers are known to be education-obsessed.


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