I can’t remember exactly how many times I came out of the homeroom teacher’s room.
All the way home, I always angrily questioned my son:
“Why are you skipping class?
After all, how do you understand that your most important task right now is to study?
If you study well, then you will pass the university entrance exam, and then you will find a good job…”
Although the boy still seemed to listen, his expression became more and more uncomfortable.
But I didn’t pay attention to that, continued to “teach the morals” to him, and then waited for him to give me an answer as usual.
But his reaction then surprised me, he stopped, stopped walking, rolled his eyes and shouted at me:
“You’ve said enough, can you stop talking, I’m fed up of your lectures like that, you know that?”
My mind is blank…
That was the first time my son reacted to me, and I was really shocked…
After that, I kept thinking, I don’t know where I went wrong, but my son reacted so violently.
Gradually, when I read more about educational books and a large amount of psychology knowledge, I came to understand that:
Then In fact, talking about morality to children is the most ineffective method of education.
As it turns out, parents who only know how to talk morally with their children will never foster excellent children.
Talking about morality to children is the least effective method of education
Perhaps we often tell our children that: eat more vegetables, good for health; Eat less sweets, you will have tooth decay; Do not drink carbonated water, harmful to the stomach …
Although they care about their children very much, they are often disobedient and like to do as they please. Just like that, we begin to scold our children for disobeying…
But reality proves that we, the parents, actually blame our children.
I once saw a video like this:
A child about 2.3 years old is making a fuss at home.
The father gently reminded his son: “Daughter, can you be quiet for a moment!”
The daughter was not only disobedient, but also angry with her father:
“I call you noisy, I don’t love you anymore!”
The logic of the daughter made the father laugh without tears.
An education expert once analyzed that:
After the age of 12, the abstract thinking capacity of a new person officially develops, at this time, it gradually “evolves” into the current person.
But all morals are abstract, are generalizations, sublimation and summation of concrete things.
So when you talk about abstract moral principles to a child who has no concrete abstract thinking capacity, it’s like playing a buffalo’s ear.
It also means that, for children who have not yet fully developed their ability to think abstractly, when parents talk about morality, they are likely not to understand what their parents are saying.
Psychology has an effect called the “out of bounds effect”.
From the perspective of nature, the core message that this effect wants to convey is “degree”.
No matter what we do, we also need a “degree”, the appropriate limit.
If you are not careful to go over the limit, you may deviate from your goals, even becoming well-intentioned but failing.
The son of a cousin of mine loves to play games, the cousin is not satisfied, every opportunity is to say the truth to him:
“It won’t do you any good if you keep playing, kid.”
“Immersed in the virtual world will only harm yourself.”
“If you don’t study all day, play games, you won’t be able to regret it later…”
Hearing his mother scold him, at first the son was a little bit remorseful.
But because of being talked about too much, the son turned from repentance to annoyance, then to hatred.
There is a scholar who said: “A thousand words of empty preaching are not equal to one practical action.”
Many times, just saying morality will not bring long-term effects, sometimes even counterproductive.
Therefore, when parents educate their children, it is necessary to have a “degree”, knowing where the stop is, the limit, to avoid the opposite effect.
Instead of talking, your children pay more attention to your actions
Say it again and again, why do adults like to talk about morality with their children?
The reasons are many, but mainly, it is still because we are lazy.
It’s simple to say, if you have a mouth, you can speak.
But we overlook a fact: it is easy to say, difficult to do.
Action, testing a person’s ability in all aspects, such as patience, willpower and ability to resist pressure…
The same goes for educating children. To really let children understand how to do something, parents need to do it themselves and guide them with actions.
Not long ago, a video recording a father taking his son to a buffet was spread online.
In the video, the father picks up food from a trash can onto his plate and eats it with his head bowed.
As it turned out, the father let his son eat a buffet, the son proudly said to his father:
“Look, Dad, have you taken a lot of big abalones?”
The father, looking very angry, said to his son, “If you don’t eat all of this, I won’t let you go home.”
The son did not obey, still went to get more food. The father once again patiently reminded:
“Eat as much as you can, don’t waste it.”
But the son argued, saying this little food, I eat a little and it’s all.
Then, taking advantage of the time when the father went to the toilet, the son secretly poured all the food he did not eat into the trash can.
After the father returned, he did not speak, nor was he angry, but directly took out the food from the trash can, bowed his head and ate the food.
The son saw this impatiently, crying while stopping his father:
“Dad, don’t eat it anymore, it’s all dirty, I know I’m wrong, I won’t waste food in the future.”
In fact, as a parent, actions are always more important than words.
I once came across an interview with an excellent student at a famous university, when talking about parents’ educational methods, he shared that:
“Talking about my parents’ education, compared to words, they taught me more by practical actions.
For example, my father is a very active person, very forward-thinking, has many friends, and is very generous with everyone.
I’m like my father, so from childhood to adulthood, no matter if it’s a friend at school or a neighbor, everyone loves to play with me.
In learning, I am also a forward-thinking person, very self-disciplined, hardworking and always want to break through.”
You see, smart parents are the ones who talk less and do more. Because they soon understood that, educating their children, just talking is not enough.
If you want your children to become what they are, you must first make efforts in that direction.
No matter when, parents are always the best role model for their children.
Without teaching morals, what can parents do?
A professor once frankly pointed out: “Children’s problems are caused by adults”.
If the child does something wrong, there is definitely something wrong with the parent’s parenting method.
If we cannot reason with our children, what should we do?
1. Use actions to guide actions
Zheng Yuanjie, a famous children’s book author, says:
“When educating children, the first thing is to keep your mouth shut, lift your feet, walk your way and show your children.”
When I was talking to a friend, I asked her: “In educating your children, do you talk a lot or do a lot?”
She said: “Honestly, I used to tell my children all the time that they should study less, waste less time, spend more time on self-improvement.
As for the outcome, you can probably guess. But then, I chose to talk less and decided to do it myself first.
I started quietly waking up early, jogging and trying to learn new things.
Not only have I improved physically and mentally, but I have also become more and more tolerant, becoming a support for the emotional attachment of my family.
That’s the power of making and changing, I can feel it myself and I believe the kids can feel it too.
In this way, the situation began to change, she began to stop sleeping late and also started jogging.
Little by little, she’s also starting to notice my bookshelf, and will come pick up a book or two to read and even discuss some interesting facts with me.
What’s even more surprising is that her reading habit is also unconsciously inculcated, wherever she is, without anyone reminding her, she will read books by herself.”
There is a saying that goes like this: empty arguments can never reach a child’s heart. A good upbringing requires action from parents themselves.
If just talking, obviously will not be convincing enough, as long as you do it well yourself, you will naturally form an environment that creates a good influence on your child.
2. Use Experience Instead of Preaching
In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” there is a quote like this:
“You can never really understand a person unless you put on his shoes and think from his point of view.”
Indeed, there are many things that we can never truly understand without directly experiencing them.
The same applies to children.
I once saw such a story: a teenage boy, addicted to his cell phone, regularly played games until two in the morning.
One night, the father woke up and decided to take his son to visit the street stalls at just over two o’clock in the morning.
The father wants his son to see how cruel and difficult the world of grown-ups who are struggling to make a living can be.
Looking at the scarred hands and austere faces of the overnight vendors, the boy shed tears of repentance.
Montessori said: “I hear, and I forget; I see, and I remember; I do, and I understand.”
Compared with mere preaching, the educational effect after giving children real experience is the best.
3. Love, instead of teaching morality
When a child does something wrong, the parents’ first reaction is to scold or reason. That’s also why they ignore the fact that:
No matter what a child does or says, behind the scenes are certain emotions and needs.
If we focus only on children’s specific behaviors, it’s easy to overlook their underlying emotions.
If the child’s feelings are not seen and accepted by the parents, then even if the specific situation is resolved, the child will still encounter many situations later when he grows up.
So sometimes the more you talk, the more your child will move away from you. Because in the eyes of the child, you only care about whether the child does the right thing or not, not why the child does it.
But really wise parents are always less “reasonable” and more loving.
After all, parenting is a long training process, during this process, we must understand that in order to educate our children well, we must first educate ourselves well!