Modified Gangnam Style Parenting

Who would’ve thought that the sleazy song that millions are foolishly dancing to has a deep and logical meaning fit for parenting? No, not What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. I’m talking about 강남 가라오케

The second most famous Korean contribution to the world after Kimchi (not related to Kim Jong-Il nor Kim Jong-Un), is reportedly about Psy’s revulsion towards the people of Gangnam’s (a district in Seoul, South Korea) opulent lifestyle.

Is it wrong to desire material things? Will an opulent lifestyle guarantee you a spot in hell?

I used to answer yes plus a scoff to the questions above years ago. I grew up thinking that wanting a lot of material things is sinful and evil. It was deeply hammered in my core. I loathed, despised, spat on materialism even though I was heavily into it. I fell into the traps of spending to fulfill my earthly desires guiltily… every time, all the time.

It took me more than fifteen years to realize that wanting more of whatever the universe can provide me – whether real or imaginary – is actually a good thing! The desire to have more is not bad; the act on how you acquire them is. This has now become my reasoning and philosophy, the thing that I teach my kids – materialism in moderation.

I teach them to be grateful first for whatever they have and whatever will come, but also to never settle and acquire good things in a good way. I don’t belittle their feelings of wanting more things, better things, bigger things, flashier things, everything.

But why?


Motivation is an essential tool in our lives, regardless of age. It is also very subjective and diverse. Some are motivated by a solitary life somewhere in the middle of a jungle, while others are motivated by a Richard Mille Tourbillon in Rose Gold. The backlash of motivation is what matters. It makes us get things done.

Propeller for Perseverance

The astounding effect of motivation is perseverance. Wanting something, especially of material nature, is the best propeller for perseverance and hard work.

Change of Habits

And because our kids will move heaven and earth to get what they want, their habits will change to attain that want. Same principle as when you bribe your kids for good grades or to fix their rooms. They will do all those things and create a good habit in the process in order to get them.

One Direction

Encouraging your kids to dream for more things and eventually obtain them will most likely lead them to the right direction and make them stay there.

I couple the encouragement with teaching them the difference between buying things to feel superior over others (ex. post it on Facebook with the caption “I’m the king of the world!”) and buying things for personal gratification.

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