– There are two rising trends in child-rearing: some kids are lavishly praised in any situation and for any little feat, while they can be honed like never before. Parents’ desire to help their offspring access good schools and start good careers is understandable and welcome; this is indeed good news to see a growing number of them ready to devote more time and effort to boost their kids’ skills than what was usually practiced by previous generations.

– It is not a bad question, though, to ask how heavy is the pressure of meritocracy and competition on young minds and what is the value of merit-based love in education. The combination of those two trends – a strong increase in both praise and honing – can have a powerful effect. The issue is that some children can get plenty of “conditional affection” – a “meritocratic love” – driven by only the ambition to lead the students to success. If the smiles and frowns shown to the children are manipulative, they may lose much of their value.



Image: Taiwanese Students – Wikipedia