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My son told me a while back about a time when he was playing with a relative’s child and his father yelled ferociously at him. I used this opportunity to educate him on why he was so strict to his son.

I said: “You see, although he doesn’t feel good on the outside to be scolded, he’s actually developing on the inside,” My son was incredulous and asked me: “Why do you say so?”

I answered him: “Think of yourself, have you ever been scolded by me?” My son said: “Of course. Sometimes several times a day.” I said: “Do you ever wonder why I scold you?” He answered, “Yes, I would like to learn what I did wrong, then learn what to do next time.”

I smiled at him and said, “That’s right! See, you already cultivated the ability to be scolded. In fact, when someone scolds you, you really have to thank them because the only people who really care about you and wish the best for you will spend the time and effort to scold you. 

There so many people on the street, why do none of them stop and scold you? Only your relatives, friends or teachers will bother to do it. People who don’t know you or who don’t care about you will never waste their energy to scold you. What do you think?” 

My son nodded and said, “You’re right.”

I then went on to say: “In another case, if you are falsely accused and wrongfully scolded, think of it like this: the person who scolds you now owes you. Furthermore, it is also a way to cultivate your mind and learn patience. You should now thank whoever is scolding you for giving you this opportunity.

 Then, take some time to explain, and let them understand that you actually did nothing wrong. They will realize this and you’ll learn to communicate better. Does this not serve multiple purposes? My son replied, “Ah, I understand.”

Finally, I added: “Some kids are very well-behaved as they are growing up, so they don’t get scolded occasionally. But soon they will grow up to be people who cannot accept any sort of criticism. Do you think that to be able to take criticism is a needed ability?

My son was suddenly enlightened and said: “Yes, that is true.” I answered, “Now just because you have this newfound revelation and this ability to accept criticism, you should try your best and it doesn’t mean you should purposely do things to let me scold you.”

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Translation: Liana Chau

 

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