In the latest episode of Channel A‘s My Golden Kids, a Korean mother of three appeared to consult the renowned pediatric psychologist Dr. Oh Eun Young. The mother claimed her oldest daughter, who recently turned 11 years old, “no longer seems to want to communicates with [her]“.
As viewers got to take a closer look at the family’s “regular day” caught on camera, it became evident why the daughter had trouble opening up to her mother. As early as 7AM in the morning, the daughter was up and “studying” already. Her mother and siblings slept outside in the livingroom while she, alone, worked on improving her English.
Oh, I’m so sleepy…
As the day progressed, the tension between the daughter and her mother only heightened. When the daughter stepped in the shower after coming home from karate school, the mother raided the bathroom demanding to check the daughter’s school work.
What did you do without your progress notebook today? Did you skip it? Hurry up and finish showering, and bring me your notebook so I can see.
As soon as she got out of the shower, the daughter was confronted by her mom. The time had already passed 9PM at this point, but she was told to do some more studying — after being fiercely scolded for “missing a couple pages” of her workbook.
When the daughter returned to her room, she was spotted murmuring, attempting to comfort herself:
There is nothing I can do about this… (sigh) I have to hold it in. Hold it all in… Mom’s not going to like it, so I have to finish.
Throughout the evening, the mother’s nagging continued. The daughter ended up getting extremely frustrated with herself…
… and eventually bursting into tears, cornered within her room.
Mother: Why are you crying again? What’s there to cry about?
Daughter: I just don’t want to do these… (crying)
The situation worsened the next day. The daughter was put in charge of watching her siblings while the mother went outside to take care of business. When the mother returned though, rather than praising the 11-year-old for trying her best to keep things under control, she yelled at the daughter for skipping study time instead.
When the daughter broke down as her mother continued screaming in her face, Dr. Oh also got emotional, feeling sorry for the miserable child.
Look how nervous the child is in front of her mother… There is so much gaslighting and bullying going on between the mother and the daughter. No wonder she is anxious and refusing to communicate. This can not be justified, no matter how good the mother’s intention may be for the daughter.
— Dr. Oh Eun Young
Watching the daughter struggle with her mother, Dr. Oh claimed that the daughter may already be suffering mild depression. According to Dr. Oh, depression in children manifests in various manners. For children, when depressed, they may have trouble with focusing, staying active, and, most importantly, communicating with their parents — all of which applied to the daughter’s behavior.
This child has nothing to look forward to in life. And of course, life isn’t always a party. But we survive because we all get our good moments. These good moments keep us alive, they keep us going… This poor child isn’t getting any of those moments right now. She is borderline depressed. Not full-blown, but she’s dangerously close.
— Dr. Oh Eun Young
By the end of the episode, the mother listened to Dr. Oh’s advice and promised to try becoming a stronger support system for the daughter.
I want to tell her that I’m sorry…
Viewers, however, found the episode to be deeply traumatizing. Many shared their own personal experiences with tiger parenting and how the “PTSD memories” from “surviving childhood from an overly-strict family did so much more harm than good.”
- “This reminds me of my childhood so much that I’m shaking and having difficulty breathing. I grew up exactly like the daughter. I was bullied throughout my school years because I was so depressed. The PTSD still haunts me, even though I’m in my 30s now. I hope the daughter doesn’t end up living like I did.”
- “Oh wow, is that my mom? Mine wasn’t as insane about studying, but she hated everything I did. It’s still ongoing. I’m saving up to move out of the house as soon as I can. But she is definitely the reason I’m battling mental disorders.”
- “I hope the mother really keeps her promise… because mine didn’t and it has now been years since I’ve seen or spoken to her. You don’t have to beat your child to have it be seen as abuse. This is brutal abuse in its own form… Please do better for your child. She’s 11, she has no one else but you.”