Children need foreign and domestic influences growing up

By Duo Mu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/17 18:43:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Education has always been a hot topic among parents as it is directly related to the future of their children. How to educate children can be a sweet but painstaking task for parents, many of whom try to offer their sons or daughters the best environment.

Just as a recent article in your newspaper titled Parents trying to be helpful may turn kids into snobs said, competition between parents over children's education starts from the kind of animated series children watch. For some parents, watching foreign animated shows is better than watching domestic ones. By watching foreign animated shows, children can learn English at the same time.

However, this does not mean children should only watch foreign shows and those watching foreign shows are superior to those watching domestic ones.

Domestic shows have their own advantages. They can help children learn traditional Chinese culture and history. Take Journey to the West. This show was based on one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature which tells the story of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) Buddhist monk Xuanzang and his three disciples overcoming various difficulties as they make their way to the West for obtaining Buddhist sacred texts. By watching this show, children can learn more about the history of the Tang Dynasty and the development of Buddhist culture in China.

Foreign shows can open a window for children to gain a better understanding of the outside world while domestic shows can help them be more familiar with their own country. So children ought to be encouraged to watch both as long as the content of the show is beneficial.

This can also be applied to other things. For example, children should be encouraged to read both folk tales from China and foreign countries. When I was a child, my mother liked to read folk tales for me, from which I learned the importance of filial piety, honesty and other ethics that the Chinese people embrace.

What is more important, once parents hold views of superiority, the views can more or less leave a subtle influence on their children. Initially, children are innocent. Nevertheless, they, influenced by their parents, slowly hold the views that watching foreign shows like Backkom is superior to watching domestic shows such as Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf. A sense of superiority may make them look down upon others. Once a sense of hierarchy imposed by adults is formed in children's minds, parents' education can never be regarded as successful.

The book Little Prince contains the line: "All grown-ups were once children … but only a few of them remember it." It is hoped that parents can offer their children a pure childhood and make them free from a sense of superiority.

Duo Mu, a freelancer based in Beijing


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