Another advice for parents

Today, all students, regardless of where they live, are facing an unprecedented challenge because of the impacts of technology. If the students start elementary school now, by the time they graduate from college, most of the jobs at that time are probably not even invented yet. Many parents have asked me for advice since they do not know what to do to make sure that their children will be able to do well in this fast-changing time.

I have written several articles about this subject on my blog previously and summarize them here: Young children need to learn at least one foreign language and know how to use technology devices. They must learn and re-learn quickly to adapt to the changing environment. In another word, they must be lifelong learners to make a good living in this changing world. They need to develop soft-skills such as communication, teamwork, collaboration, and work ethics since most future jobs will NOT be limited to the local area or a country.

However, in my view, the most important thing that parents can do for their children NOW is to help them develop the moral characters and responsibility. The problem is today, many parents are too busy making a living and do not have time to spend with their children. They believe by sending their children to school they will be taught whatever they need. But the results often are not as expected because some schools are not created to educate but to make money. In these schools, children are taught to compete, to win at all costs, to be number one, and as they learn a few things, some become arrogant and even violent. A few months ago, a mother lamented that her ten years old son disrespected her and even called her “ignorant” because she did not know how to use a computer. When people confuse the learning of technologies with “getting educated,” we have a big problem.

Parents have the responsibility to educate their children. A good education always starts at home. What they do, what they say, what they act is also what they teach their children to do the same. If they spend time with their children, helping them to learn, reading books with them, talk to them, and listen to their concerns, they can help their children to develop good characters so when they grow up, they can be good people. When young children are educated with a foundation of morals, ethics, and responsibilities, whatever they learn afterward will always be based on that foundation. They will learn science based on their concern for the environment. They will learn technology based on their responsibility for all living beings. They will learn other subjects based on their ethics, etc. If children can be educated with a strong moral foundation, the parents can look forward to a better future. Parents should not expect the school to educate their children by itself . A good education is always a collaboration between the school and the family. Parents should not expect the teachers to do everything if they do not even do their part. After all, it is their children and they are responsible for them.”

Today’s children and tomorrow’s workers need to know how to discover, how to think, how to evaluate, how to learn and continue to learn based on their strong foundation of moral ethics so when they grow up, they will be responsible to their family, to their society, and to their country where they have the courage to forge their own paths for a better future.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University