Translation of the text
Children’s inspiration to us
Linlin and Tiantian are classmates. Tiantian’s parents are going on business. They want to ask us to look after their daughter for a few days. My husband and I happily agreed. Having a child with our only daughter day in and day out, that’s just what we are hoping for! The most excited one is Linlin, who kept shouting demands that dad welcome Tiantian to my home with the delicacies that he’s the most capable of cooking. He also proposed that her desk can be shared with Tiantian. My husband and I were very happy to see that our daughter was warm and selfless to her friend.
Before Tiantian came, Linlin became very industrious. She cleaned up the house, put things in order, and for whatever good thing [that they enjoyed together] she considered Tiantian. Although Linlin of our family was a girl, she also [showed] plenty of chivalry.
The arrival of Tiantian made the life of my husband and I especially easy. The two children woke up every morning without having to be awaken. They didn’t need to be picked up or sent to school, and they didn’t need to be urged to do their homework. They didn’t fight, they didn’t make trouble, and as to their relationship, you can’t even imagine how well they got along. Seeing that my daughter and Tiantian were so close, they were showing a strong tendency to ignore us. My husband and I even get a little jealous.
That evening, after finishing their homework, the two children began to talk incessantly. One said, “I don’t like Wang Duoduo. She likes to play with her classmate who is well dressed and always laughs at others.” The other says “I hate Gao Chunlai. He is the most skilled at flattering the teachers.” My husband and I looked at each other. How can such a young child learn to gossip about people behind their backs. I solemnly went up to them and said seriously, “if you see other people’s shortcomings, you should talk to them face to face. It’s not good to say bad things about them behind their backs.” My husband also chimed in: “everyone should get along well with each other and be tolerant to others.” But my daughter showed a face full of the doubt and asked: “Don’t you also sometimes say such-and-such friend is easy to get along with, and such-and-such friend is selfish?” In an instant, my husband and I were unable to say anything, and the room was silent.
It is often said that the importance of a child’s first teachers [启蒙 qǐméng = enlightenment. lit, 启蒙老师 qǐméng lǎoshī = the teacher who first started to enlighten the child’s mind] cannot be ignored. Parents are the first teachers of children. This is true. But this time, if it were not for my daughter’s refutation, I still wouldn’t have realized that we were practicing double standards between our own ways of doing things and what we require of our children. That is, lenient to ourselves and strict to our children. Children can also be our teachers!
Honestly speaking, this time my child really taught me a lesson: I feel deeply that if I want to be a good parent, I must first restrain my own words and actions.
Adapted from “Don’t let children catch you tripping [把柄 bǎbǐng, handle; 抓住你的把柄 zhuāzhù nǐde bǎbǐng, grab you by your handle]”, an article from Children will excel only if loved to the right degree