The Importance of Family Education

Throughout history, many people have made great achievements thanks to the education they received from their family. It was well-known that Mencius’ mother relocated their house three times so that her son could be in the best environment to learn. Many great painters and calligraphers became the best in their fields due to the family education they received.

Nowadays, it is important that children are taught the following by their family:

1. Honesty — If children develop the habit of telling lies while young, they’ll face many obstacles in the future. Practicing honesty in dealing with others is the foundation of success in life.

2. Good habits — Children must be taught good habits at a very early age. They should learn to be neat and clean, to be compassionate towards living things. They should be taught even small things, such as turning off the lights and shutting the door when they leave a room. By developing good habits in life, they lay the foundation for success in their endeavors.

3. Politeness — Children should learn to respect others. Not only should they be respectful of their elders, but also to everyone else they encounter. As the saying goes, “Those who respect others will be respected in turn.”

4. Acceptance — Parents should teach children to be open-minded. That will, it will be easier for them to learn and progress in life. Lack of focus and refusal to accept new ideas are the main reasons children do poorly in schools. When one is unable to accept, one is like an overturned vase. One cannot hold the sweet dew that falls from heaven.

5. Diligence — “Diligence produces results. Playfulness does not.” In their early years, children are fun-loving. But as the children grow up, parents should steer their interests toward learning, so that their energy can be directed toward noble pursuits in life.

6. Balance — Children should live a balanced and healthy life, which includes three square meals a day and enough sleep at night. Their emotions and temper should also be well-controlled. If they are both physically and emotionally healthy, they will find it easier to establish themselves in life.

In addition to these six points, a child’s sense of self-respect should be protected. Parents should not tease, scold, insult, or reject their children. Some parents may complain about their children’s lack of achievements, that they are good for nothing, or that they are all play and no work. If parents hurt their children with such inconsiderate words, the children may give up on themselves and truly become incapable of achieving anything.

Therefore, parents should trust and respect their children instead of opposing them. With love, care, patience, and respect, parents will find it easier to educate their offspring than through strict discipline. The Buddhist teachings of fellowship and kind speech are the best methods of familial education, a lesson that all parents should learn.