Hear From Parents

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Being a Parent Now
Being a parent now is very difficult and different from the past. In the past, as long as everyone was fed and work was finished, everything was fine. Now, not only do those tasks need to be done, but we have to understand how children feel. Communication between the child and parent is increasingly important. For example, as a mother, I need to understand why my children feel the way they do and what happened to make them feel that way. From 6th grade and on, two of my children, now 11 and 12, went through changes. They started to have their own personalities and to talk back. They began to have their own needs. My 12-year-old has already shown me that I need to understand her. If I don’t, we may end up not talking for days. In the end, parents should understand their children. What is most important is that children do the right things, so let them have some freedom to do what they want. This will help to establish a good relationship.
In conclusion, no matter how difficult it is to be a parent now, I believe children will come to understand their parents, and they will be able to succeed.

Written by Mei Yee Moy, Mother

Happiest Moment
My happiest moment this year was when my second daughter Barbara got a certificate for being on the honor roll. In March, my daughter brought home a yellow piece of paper inviting me to go eat breakfast at her school with other parents. I arrived at her school at
around 9:30 with my husband, and I saw my daughter with a classmate. They were the only ones in her class that were admitted into the honor roll. There was a lot of food and a lot of people. Then someone started calling names in alphabetical order. After a while, they finally called my daughter’s name. She walked up and took the certificate. Everyone was clapping. That was one of my happiest moments this year.

Written by Mei Ling Ng, Mother

How to Connect
Besides my regular job, I teach a computer class at a community center. Over the past 10 years, I’ve heard some of my students complain that their children are not willing to teach them how to use a computer. They complain that their children are often impatient with
them even with simple questions. This makes me feel glad about my own two children, who have been more than happy to help me use the computer ever since they were young. I am very lucky. I was thrilled when I found out my son became captain of his high school’s Robot Building Team. He was busy with team activities every day. Meanwhile, I gave him as much support possible. I bought food and drinks for the more than 30 team members and drove several of them home late at night after meetings. Although I was exhausted after work, I insisted on helping the team because I saw it as a good opportunity to connect with my son. Generational and cultural gaps between parent and child are inevitable. That is exactly why more communication is needed. I remember one day when I drove my son to school, he asked if I could give a ride to one of his classmates. We were going to pick up the classmate downtown. Since I need to have a cup of coffee every morning, I had asked my son’s classmate to buy me some coffee before we picked him up, and I had told him that I would pay him back afterwards. My son was not happy with me. I thought, why is he putting his friends ahead of his parents? When I talked to him, he said what I did was considered impolite and inappropriate for an American parent. I ended up apologizing for what I did, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the huge Chinese and Western cultural differences between me and my son. It is said that when disciplining a child, one parent should be strict, and the other parent should be nice. I don’t agree. I have a friend who argues with his spouse about their child all the time. Their child is more alienated than ever. I once asked the child whether he thought it was wrong for his parents to argue all the time. He replied, “I don’t care whether they are right or wrong. I just leave.” Every parent has a special place in his or her child’s heart. Being right or wrong will not make the child think one parent is better than the other. Furthermore, parents are vital role models for their child, so it is important for parents to refrain from arguing in front of their child.

Written by Charlie Hsieh, Father
Translation of original essay written in Chinese

Setting Aside Time
I think we should respect and be honest with our children and treat them the same way we would treat our friends. This allows us to understand our children, which helps them grow and develop as a student and as an individual. To achieve this, I always set aside time for my son to discuss problems he may have at school or to do some outdoor activities together. By doing so, I can get closer to him and make him feel that I care for him. As a result, he will grow up healthy and happy. The key is patience and sincerity. I believe he will understand and appreciate my efforts and intentions if I consistently make time for him. Recently, I found out my son will participate in an extracurricular project called Garden in Transit: New York City in Full Bloom. I fully support his participation in this community activity and his effort to learn things beyond school. What I like the most about the project is its emphasis on quality family time (the project has a giant poster that features a family among painted flowers) and the opportunity for parents to get involved and enjoy the joys of parenting.

Written by Chui Man Chu, Mother
Translation of original essay written in Chinese

What Roles Should Parents Play in Their Child’s Life?
What does it mean to be a “good parent”? What roles should a parent play in today’s society? In every family, parents have a variety of roles. For instance, there are the traditional roles of moms as housewives who take care of the household and dads as breadwinners who are busy at work outside of the home. No matter what their roles are, parents are usually dependable, trustworthy, and responsible. Parents take on significant roles in the home. They are teachers to their child. They are responsible for taking care of their child’s daily needs and giving the child hope and love. In turn, the child will grow up, understanding the challenges of being a parent and instilled with values that his or her parents have taught. When there is darkness in the world, parents will always try to brighten their child’s world without hesitation. More importantly, parents love their child from the bottom of their hearts, often showing their affection through their smiles. As teachers, parents should teach their child important life lessons and skills and answer their child’s questions. A good parent should teach the child the difference between right and wrong and provide guidance on dilemmas that the child will encounter.
Parents should pass their knowledge to their child since what the child learns will affect his or her future. Finally, a good parent should be available to answer the child’s questions about anything—school, friends, and life. Therefore, parents play very important roles and have a huge influence in their child’s life. Since parents are so influential in their child’s life, they should be considered leaders. Parents should teach their child that no one is perfect, and humans are not God. As humans, we make mistakes, but we can learn from our mistakes if we recognize them. Parents also need to make their child understand that out of wisdom comes tolerance, and the child should learn the wisdom of letting some things go. By serving all of the above roles, parents can enrich their children’s experiences in life.

Written by Li Yun Huang, Mother
Translation of original essay written in Chinese