Parenting

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First, I would like to retell a story from an Austrian practitioner. As best as I can remember, the Austrian practitioner said:

“One day as I was shopping for food in a supermarket my attention was drawn towards a mother and her young child who were paying for their food. The child began to behave naughtily and was doing something bad to annoy the till attendant. The attendant asked the child ‘Please, can you stop that?’ When he didn’t stop he asked the mother ‘Please can you stop your child from doing this?’ The mother replied ‘No. I don’t believe in disciplining my child.’ And so the child carried on being bad. Soon the attendant calmly picked up a carton of milk, opened it and slowly poured out the contents of the entire carton of milk over the child’s head. Of course both the mother and the child were shocked and the attendant calmly said to the lady, ‘My mother didn’t believe in discipline either.’”

I think that this example is good because it shows the importance of the parents’ role in bringing up the child. That is, if the parents are able to guide the child along the right path in life then the child will also grow up to be a good person and will carry with him/her a lot of information that the parents have given him and vice versa.
Teacher Li says in Lecture One of Zhuan Falun:

“For example, if a bottle filled with dirty things is sealed tightly and thrown into water, it will sink all the way to the bottom. You pour out some of its dirty contents. The more you empty the bottle, the higher it will float in the water. If it is emptied entirely, it will float on the surface completely.”

I think that the parent definitely plays a massive role in guiding the child and will also determine how much “dirt” the child will contain during the entire course of its life. I say this as I see how my mother guides my younger brother and I can see how, even now, my dad still goes to his mother for guidance. I can see how this guidance determines the actions of each person.

The parent, of course, must know the difference between right and wrong in order to guide the child properly in human society. Unfortunately, today’s human society is degenerate and even the parents don’t know how to behave properly, not to mention their children. I often hear and see examples of children doing naughty things and the parent not acting appropriately. Sometimes the child is naughty, yet the parent develops a passive attitude and doesn’t say a thing. But although the child doesn’t know that he is doing wrong, according to the principle of karmic retribution (good is rewarded with good, bad is rewarded with bad), he will suffer at some stage in his/her life for his/her bad actions. You also see the other extreme, where the child does something wrong and the parent completely flies off the handle and starts to smack the child in a great fury whilst many dirty words come from the parent’s mouth which are used to insult the child. This is due to a lack of restraint and a lack of understanding from the parent. This will just make the child become either very scared of the parents, causing a breakdown in the family, or it will cause the child to become extremely violent and naughty when the parents aren’t around. A parent must learn how to maintain balance in these relationships so that they can have a stable family and a well-behaved child.

In Lecture Two of Zhuan Falun, Teacher Li says:
“In educating a child, an adult often teaches him, ‘You should learn to be smart,’ so that in the future he will get a foothold in ordinary human society. From the perspective of our universe, ‘to be smart’ is already wrong, for we require following the course of nature and caring little for personal gain. Being so smart, he intends to pursue self-interest. ‘Whoever bullies you, go to his teacher and find his parents.’ ‘Pick up money if you see it on the ground.’ The child is taught this way. From childhood to adulthood, as he receives more things, he will gradually become increasingly selfish in ordinary human society. He will take advantage of others and lose virtue.”

These are the examples that are given to us by Teacher Li to show us how degenerate human society is today and how it reflects on our children. This gives practitioners a guideline on how they should educate their children so that they will not lose virtue. Thus the education of children is also an aspect of Compassion towards the child so that he will keep what is really precious and will be able to rise above the level of everyday people.

Teacher Li also says (Lecture Nine of Zhuan Falun):
“Some people will lose their temper in disciplining children and yell at them, making quite a scene. You should not be that way in disciplining children, and neither should you, yourselves get really upset. You should educate children with reason so that you can really teach them well.”

Thus I hope that parents realise the importance of their role in the guidance of their children and will be able to guide them according to “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”

I would like to end with a quotation from Teacher Li’s Lecture at the Fa-Conference in Canada:

“Gradually human beings form their own notions. Some people even teach their children how to protect themselves and their self-interest, and how to mess with other people. They purposely teach their children to become bad people and regard their teaching as good experience. As a normal adult, if you don’t have these notions, you are the most rational, and you are clear about and know everything. You aren’t trapped in any notion while making judgments. You are clear about whatever you encounter and whatever you see at a glance. That’s your genuine self and that is wisdom”.

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