9:32 pm PST

One night, my son showed me his writing. I found a misspelling, so I corrected him.

He looked embarrassed and jokingly pretended to take his pencil to poke my face. It was only a light touch, but I turned around and looked at him with serious eyes. He felt ashamed and ran away.

I called him back, and used this opportunity to ask him seriously, “Do you know what was wrong with your behavior earlier?” He looked down sheepishly. Then I asked him, “Do you know how to correct your behavior?” He nodded and said that he should apologize.

I then asked him, “After apologizing, then what do you say?” He pondered for a moment and said, “I should ask to see if you got hurt.” I said, “And, what else?” He thought again, remembering what I had told him before, and said “I know what I did was wrong and I won’t do it again.”

When I knew that he had understood, I then smiled and said, “In fact, Daddy already knew that you would’ve apologized in the beginning, but after I stared at you, you were too embarrassed to apologize, right?” He nodded, embarrassed.  I said, “I know you so well because you are my son, and we have similar personalities. I used to be like that too, which is why I knew what you were thinking.”

I continued to say, “I had the same attitude as you when I was younger. I was afraid to lose face, and thought that if I apologized, I would be admitting my mistakes and people would laugh at me. But later  I realized that if one apologizes, no one would laugh at that person and will instead respect and give them another chance to correct their mistakes.” My son nodded and I knew that he had understood. “You will later realize that losing face is not the most important thing, but admitting our mistakes is the thing that really matters in the end.”

Afterwards, my son not only sincerely apologized to me, but also knew not to make any more dangerous jokes. I looked at him and thought back to my own past, feeling happy for him because he realized the importance of this attitude at an early age, knowing that he will gain more values in the future.

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Translation :  Ireen Chau