【10 Things Parents Should Never Do!】Agnes Meiling Kaneko Chan started her singing career at 14 and once enjoyed equal popularity with Teresa Teng Li-Chun aka Deng Lijun. Later she got married in Japan and has three sons, all of whom enrolled in the No.1 university in the U.S., Stanford University, under her guidance. What’s the secret of her parenting success? Agnes Chan shared it with us in the video.
Ten Things Parents Should Not Do
1. Do not compare your kids with other kids. Too much comparison may hurt their self confidence, which will make them too afraid to show you their potential. Some kids of low self confidence may choose to bully or look down on others.
2. Don’t reward your children with material things. They may discard the toys you rewarded them after two or three weeks. Toys are not their friends forever. A mom asked me what to do when her daughter didn’t like taking showers. I said, “You can tell your daughter, ‘If you take a shower and clean yourself, you can help me put on some makeup.'” If it were a boy, tell him if he takes a shower, he will be allowed to help his dad put on some makeup. He will definitely love that! Reward your kids with fun events that’ll enhance the communication among family members.
3. Do not make daily schedules for the children. Many parents expect their children to play after finishing the homework. No, doing homework is playing; playing is learning. I don’t let my children separate learning and playing that clarly. When it rained, I took my kids to the park. I let them float the leaves on the water and see whose leaf swam faster. Then I asked them, “Why does it rain?” I nurture their interest in looking for answers. When they can see and experience problems in a tangible way, they will learn very fast and they won’t feel that learning is toiling.
4. Don’t let your kids enroll in tutoring programs. The tutoring programs that aim to raise your kids’ grades give them the impression that the purpose of learning is to get good grades. If you spend the money on tutoring programs on family trips instead, the outcome will be better. My oldest son loves fishes. We went to almost all the aquariums we could go to in Japan.
5. Don’t make choices for your children. It is very important to learn how to make choices. Since my kids were small, I have trained them to make choices, such as picking ice creams. When my oldest son was in high school, he chose to apply to universities in the U.S. I expected him to pick the No.1 or the No.2 university, but he chose the No.7 school. Every new student in that school was assigned a horse. Every day hey had to take care of the horse before going to class. That trained them to be responsible. My son enjoyed studying there and did well. The school taught him well. He made the right choice.
6. Don’t prevent your kids from falling in love in high school. Dating teaches us how to love and how to be loved, so I encouraged my sons to have girlfriends, but I also taught them to be responsible—they must not become fathers. They all had girlfriends when they were in high school. I could see they were very happy. I gave them sex education very early—when they were 9 years old.
7. Don’t scold or hit your kids. I am against scolding and physical punishment. Physical punishment gives you fast results—the kids will give in quickly—but do they really understand the problems? It is better to have a conversation and discuss the problems thoroughly. My longest record was 8 hours. My kids later joked that physical punishment was better because they could leave earlier.
8. Don’t lie to your kids. For example, keep you promise to your kids. If you don’t, your kids will think you lied to them. If kids don’t trust others, they will be very lonely all their lives.
9. Don’t ignore your children because of work. Even two to five minutes of interaction with your little children will be like heaven to them.
10. When your kids ask you questions, never tell them to “wait a second.” Even when I was cooking, I turned off the gas when my kid asked me, “Why is the sky blue?” I told him, “That’s a great question!!! Let’s look for the answer together in a second.”
For me, education is giving the kids some tools for finding dreams. If they fail, they can move on to find other dreams. If they succeed, they need to be modest and learn to share.
(Click here to watch the video)