Time flies. It was just nine months ago when I gave birth to my son, and now he’s already starting to mimic my speech and gestures.
Indeed, as parents we serve as role models for our children.
Being a parent comes with a multitude of responsibilities and duties, as our actions and behaviors have a profound impact on them.
Over the past two weeks I met four lovely boys who inherited their excellent characters from their parents, no doubt.
The first boy, just four years old, rushed out of the room as soon as the class was dismissed. As he was putting on his shoes, he noticed his friend was looking for her own pair of shoes.
He helped her look for her shoes, and when they found them, he untied the shoelaces and put the shoes on her feet.
He was a bit clumsy and took some time to determine which shoe should go to which foot, but I was still amazed that such a young child has the kindness and generosity to help a classmate.
It was an act worthy to be emulated by kids and adults alike.
The second boy, eight, is also a student of mine.
Our lesson for the day was to create comic strips, which my pupils should do collaboratively.
I realized it would be impractical for the entire class to work on a single comic strip, so I decided to divide them into pairs.
My pupils exchanged looks with each other, prompting me to divide them according to their preferences.
There’s one small problem, however. There were seven students in the class, and one would have no partner.
One boy looked around and after gauging the situation, he put up his hand and told me he could work alone.
I could tell he really liked to work with one of his classmates, but since not all could have a partner, he volunteered to go solo so that the class could start working.
I really admired his thoughtfulness.
The third boy is also eight years old.
I presented to the class a situation. I asked them how they would react if a friend gave them a present that they didn’t like much.
Everyone agreed that saying “Thanks, but it is too ugly” would be impolite. Almost everyone preferred the other option, which is to say, “It’s lovely, thanks,” because such a response would not hurt the giver’s feelings.
The boy then raised his hand, and said that responding that way would be an act of dishonesty.
I admired his candor. And as a matter of fact, that’s what I wanted my pupils to say.
It is important that we try not to hurt other people’s feelings, but in doing so we should not lie.
The fourth boy, nine, is also from my class. He happened to have read a recent article of mine and asked me what I meant by “results-oriented”.
I explained that while results were important, there were other things that could be more important and valuable.
While his classmates were joking about the importance of taking a nap, he told me “attitude” was what he valued most.
I find it rare for a young boy to have such a mature mind. I sincerely hope he could maintain his good attitude.
As I was thinking of these admirable boys, I realized that they got their character from their parents.
So if these children are kind, caring and righteous, I am sure they reflect the kind of people their parents are.
Indeed, children are the mirrors of their parents, and I am not just talking about their looks.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 30
Translation by John Chui
[Chinese version 中文版]
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