“You Stand Out as a Positive Example for Other Children”
(Minghui.org) Shortly after starting a new semester of school in March 2013, my son Hao showed me a comment his schoolteacher made on his homework. His schoolteacher wrote, “I am so curious as to what kind of people your parents are to have raised such a polite, young man that is also a very high achiever. You stand out as a positive example for other children. I wish you success in the future!”
My husband and I smiled at each other after we read the comment. Hao has been showered with praise from his schoolteachers since he started elementary school. Now that he is in junior high, he continues to receive positive feedback.
My husband and I are both architects and we are just an ordinary intellectual family. I have been practicing Falun Gong for 16 years. I have always educated my son based on the cultivation principles of Falun Gong: Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. My husband does not practice Falun Gong, but he supports the teachings of Falun Gong. Hao has been trying to follow these principles in his daily life. This is how he became “a polite, young man and excellent achiever.” His “positive energy” comes from cultivating Falun Gong.
All of his teachers since kindergarten have made similar comments about Hao. They say that he is polite, has a good heart, is very logical and thinks clearly. He always thinks of a method or an approach before he begins to do something. He is also neat.
Schoolteachers and other parents often ask my husband and me to share our secrets on how we have raised our son. The truth is that we have never really lectured him on anything. I have him read the book of Falun Gong and listen to the Minghui.org radio broadcasts. I also tell him stories about Chinese traditional culture to instill good values in him. These have made an impression on him over the years.
A Clean Room
He used to make a mess at home until I read him an article titled “Sage” from a book by Li Hongzhi, Essentials for Further Advancement : “[...] he is full of great aspirations while minding minor details.”
He thought about the meaning of what we had read.
He also thought about a passage from Great Learning , one of the four books of Confucianism: “To govern the country and bring peace to all, one should first be able to govern one's family; to govern one's family successfully, one should first learn to govern oneself.” I added that children were expected to clean their rooms and make their beds. The next day I found his bedroom clean and his bed made. He has been very neat ever since.
My son gets an allowance like other kids, but he is never frivolous. My husband picks him up from school and often talks to the food peddlers near the school. They say, “Your son never buys snacks. He does not spend money frivolously like the other children. He has a lot of self-restraint for a boy his age.”
At PTA meetings the teachers told us that many of the children curse, use violence and date; but our son never does such things.
My husband and I have never been helicopter parents. Hao told us that he memorized the poetry of Falun Gong during the holidays, and now he always remembers to follow the teachings in the poetry. This is the reason why he does not have bad behavior.
Be Thoughtful of Others
According to Hao's teachers, the children in China today are selfish. The educational system in China focuses on academic performance and neglects teaching children good values. Hao attends one of the best junior high schools in the area and there are more homework assignments than at average schools. He often stays up until midnight or later to finish his homework. Some parents are unable to help their children with homework. So these students have no choice but to seek help from their classmates, but they are usually rejected because most students don't have time to help other students.
Hao has always been nice and amiable. Therefore, he gets a lot of phone calls at night from his classmates asking for help with math. Sometimes he gets impatient when there are too many phone calls interrupting him and keeping him from doing his own homework. My husband and I would encourage him to help his classmates. I told him, “Falun Gong requires us to be selfless, altruistic, and considerate. Think of how helpless your classmates must be. If you would be a little more patient, your friends would understand a lot more quickly. It won't take long to help them.”
He listened to me. He has become more patient when he helps his friends with their homework.
He said, “I often find my own mistakes when I explain a problem to my classmates. I get a chance to fix my own mistakes during the process of helping others. Helping others is the same as helping myself.”
Hao is better at math than many of his classmates, but since he has been helping others, he often gets a 100 on his math homework. Getting a 100 in East Asia means getting every question right. He is at the top of the class in math. His teacher often waves Hao's math homework in front of the class and exclaims, “I won't even bother to check this homework for mistakes!”
Many of the students copy from the Internet when doing writing assignments. Sometimes two students are caught plagiarizing from the same author.
This is how I taught my son: “We are required to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We should be thoughtful of others even when it comes to writing. We must be honest. We must write things that are morally inspiring.” Hao always writes about real stories. He reflects on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance while writing his stories. His articles are very moving. His teacher once commented about his writing assignment: “I can tell you write real stories that are from your heart. They are very touching.”
Hao gradually formed the habit of being thoughtful of others. One time I realized after I got home, that the milk vendor gave me too much change. I wanted to wait until the next time I stopped there to give him the money back, but Hao urged me to return the money right away. He said the milk vendor would be worried.
The milk vendor was surprised when I came back to return the money. I told him that my son and I practiced Falun Gong and my son urged me to return the money immediately. He exclaimed, “I have received Falun Gong flyers before. It looks like Falun Gong really is good! I have now witnessed that children who practice Falun Gong will turn out to be good!”
Hao once went to a summer camp organized by the school. I asked him to take one more bottle of water with him, but he did not want to. It was not until I mentioned that other kids might need water that he agreed to bring an extra bottle of water. When he got back from the camp, he told me that he finished a bottle of water quickly, but he gave the remaining bottle of water to another kid who had spilled his.
He wrote in his diary: “I was thirsty, but I felt good about giving the water to someone who needed it.”
No Pursuit for Self-Interest
A work colleague once told me that she paid for a premium seat for her child at school. She bought the seat from a schoolteacher for 2,000 yuan. She added that she had no choice, because this was how parents got good seats for their children at school. Falun Gong teaches us not to fight over our self-interests, so I decided that I would not do the same for my son.
Hao's teacher mentioned at a PTA meeting last semester that the seating arrangements for the classroom had given her a lot of headaches because every parent wanted to have their child in the front row. Hao ended up sitting in the back row because my husband and I did not bribe or gift his teacher. It must be very difficult for the teachers because there are only a few seats in the front row. I decided that Hao could wear glasses if he had trouble seeing the blackboard.
A week later he told me that he was now sitting in the front row.
A classmate named Dong was struggling with schoolwork. His parents bribed the teacher, so he got special treatment. Dong sat in the front row. He also had after-school lessons until 9 p.m. every day with the teacher. Yet Dong continued to struggle. It was decided that Dong needed to sit next to an A student. Dong was given a choice between five classmates, but he picked Hao. He said, “Hao never throws a fit, he is never jealous of anyone, he always helps his classmates with their homework, and he is not selfish. Of course, I want to sit next to him.”
Hao ended up with a front row seat in the classroom.
Dong and Hao have become good friends and Dong is doing better in school. One day their English teacher said, “Dong, you are finishing the English assignments more quickly now.” Dong responded, “It depends on who sits next to me. I am fast with Hao setting next to me.” The English teacher smiled and said, “Hao, you are a better English teacher than I am!”
The teacher evaluated every student at the next PTA meeting. She said, “Hao has a very good heart. He is very generous and forgiving. He helps Dong learn his lessons.” Dong's mother told me, “I must thank you for raising such a wonderful son!”
I gave Falun Gong materials to Hao's schoolteachers and some of the parents. I told them, “Falun Gong is the reason why my son is a good kid and an A student. It is that simple. He follows the teachings of Falun Gong. That's why he has such a good heart and is a good influence on the other children at school. But the Chinese Communist regime includes lies and propaganda slandering Falun Gong in the textbooks. They teach children to hate a cultivation practice that is based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Children are learning from such textbooks, and I wonder what kind of people they will become.”