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Parents must set a good example for their children

  • Source: Global Times
  • [21:53 November 04 2009]
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I"ve seen Chinese parents teaching their kids to say "thanks"and to respect elderly people. I have watched sons imitate their dads by being little gentlemen and ladies greeting people politely because they"ve seen their moms do the same.

It"s encouraging to see so many parents raising kids to be civilized ladies and gentlemen.

I"ve also witnessed parents littering while walking with kids. I"ve seen too many moms and dads showing their kids how to dangerously dart through traffic, smoke in no-smoking areas, stare at foreigners and cut in line.

Parents taking kids to school on the back of their bikes is great, but when they ride right through red lights they not only endanger their children"s lives, but set a bad example. No wonder kids grow up disregarding the rules.

We try to teach our kids not to pick their noses, spit on the sidewalk and push in line. We want them to say "thank you,"but if we"re rude how can we expect kids to do better? If I have to be first into the subway car, or block elevator doors, what will my kids do?

Being considerate means recognizing I"m not the only person here. It means thinking about people around me, and teaching my kids, by example, to do the same. Before parking my bike I need to ask myself, "If I put it here, will it block other people"s bikes in?"

Some kids spend most of their time with grandparents or nannies. Parents are still responsible for the kind of example set for their kids.

We should respect elderly people, but if a grandparent were walking my kid across the street on the red pedestrian light or smoking in no-smoking areas with my child present, I"d certainly speak up.

I love my kids enough to not just stand by and do nothing.

How about a nanny? I"d have a serious talk with her about being a good example to my kids.

And if she continued pushing in line with my kid or not following the rules – well, nannies can be replaced, but my kids cannot.

Parents be careful – the next generation is watching you!

The author is an experienced English teacher in Beijing, author of Here They Come! Are You Ready? (China Machine Press, 2008)

 

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