Parenting Vivian | 25 Feb 2011 03:13 pm

Parenting Tips on Helping Children to Strengthen Good Behaviour and to Mend the Weaknesses

The focal point of moral education is to strengthen good behaviour and mending weaknesses. We focused on issues relating to attitude and behaviour including selfishness, laziness, ill-mannerism, egoistic, jealousy, hot-tempered, and telling lies. We also focused on obligation and responsibilities expected of our children.

When we have a child who is selfish, lazy, ill-mannered, egoistic, jealous, hot-tempered or fond of telling lies, we are merely seeing the consequence or the result. We need to explore deeper to find out the causes that have resulted in our child having such attitude or behaving in such a manner. Remember, we reap what we sow.

1. Selfishness and Ill-tempered

Let’s go back to the scene when the child was still a small boy. On the dining table, the mother picked up the first dish and gave it to the child saying that it was cooked especially for him as it was his favourite. If the grandparents were present, they would pick up some dishes to offer the child as a show of love for the child. This simple act of picking up dishes shows that the child is the most important person in the house. This may lead the child to believe that it is the responsibility of his parents and grandparents to satisfy his wishes and desires. If there was any that could not be satisfied, he would throw his tantrum and temper.

A teacher disclosed an incident he witnessed just outside the gate of the school. The teacher was near the gate when he saw a middle-aged woman parked her car and rushed to the school to fetch her eight year-old daughter, who must have been waiting for quite a while. The teacher heard her daughter shouting at the mother, “Are you a crazy nut, why do you come so late?” What was more shocking to the teacher was the reply he heard from the mother, “I am so sorry, I am late.”

We, the parents, have helped our children to become selfish and ill-tempered by the so-called “love” and pampering without wisdom.

2. Filial Piety

When I was younger, whenever we had fruits or delicious food, we had to offer to our grandparents and parents first. We have to do the same ritual now so that our children can imitate. Some parents may tend to keep the best for their children but such act will convey a wrong message to your children. He will be led to believe that he is the most important person and deserves the best but not the elderly. He becomes selfish and when he grows up, he will not be bothered to tend to his parents or grandparents.

My parents live in another town. When my children were young, I always find time to bring them back with me to visit my parents. It is important to provide the opportunity for our children to associate themselves with the elderly so that they learn to respect the elders and to be filial.

Selfishness is created in our children by our pampering and the so called ‘love’ for our children. We need to show them to always think of others first.

3. Mannerism and Etiquette

Why do children not able to display good mannerism and proper etiquette? If parents were not associating themselves with grandparents and provide an opportunity to show their children to conduct their relationship with good mannerism and proper etiquette, how do we expect our children to learn?

When I was young, I had to allow the elders to be seated on the dining table first before I could take my seat. I cannot touch my fork and spoon until the elders have lifted theirs.

Mannerism and proper etiquette have to be taught when our children are still young. We can start with teaching them proper etiquette at the table. Once they have internalized it, it will help to cultivate good mannerism and proper attitude.

As parents, we have the responsibility to ensure that our children are good not only at their school work but are also equipped with good character. The former can be taught in school by the teachers but the latter has to be shown to our children by role modeling by parents.

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