These short stories show how a father raised his son with reason, so he could grow up to be a good person. Read these nine short stories, and perhaps apply them to your children.
One day my two-year-old son bumped into a table and got a big bump on his head. He cried loudly for a long time. I came out of my room and walked over to the table, loudly asking: “Hey! Table, who hurt you, and made you cry so much?”
My son stopped crying, and looked at me with tears in his eyes. I caressed the table and asked: “Who did that to you?”
My son looked at me: “Oh, daddy, it was me.” I said: “Did you apologize to the table?” My son said: “I’m sorry,” and bowed to the table.
Since then, he has learned responsibility.
Don’t take your anger out on others
One day my three-year-old son started crying for no good reason. I asked: “Are you uncomfortable?”
“No,” he replied.
“Why are you crying then? Well, I don’t mind if you cry, but I‘ll find you a suitable place to cry, so that you won’t disturb others. After you have cried enough, you tell us, and then you can come out.”
I let him stay in the bathroom. Two minutes later, my son knocked on the door and said: “I’ve cried enough.” He was allowed to come out then.
Now my son is 18-years-old, and he does not use his emotions to manipulate others or take his anger out on others.
Think twice before acting
I walked by a bridge with my five-year-old son. Seeing the clear water under the bridge, my son said: “It’s beautiful water. I want to jump into the river and swim.”
I was surprised for a moment, but then I said: “Well, let’s jump in together, but first we need to go home and change our clothes.” After returning home and changing our clothes, my son noticed a pan of water.
I said to him: “My son, when you swim, you have to put your face in the water, right?” He nodded and I said: “You need some practice to see how long you can put your face in the water.”
After only ten seconds, he lifted his face out of the water and said: “I’m choking in the water, it’s not comfortable.”
I told him: “Yeah, if you jump into the river, you’ll feel even worse than that.”
“Daddy, let’s not jump into the river then,” my son responded.
“Okay, we won’t do it then,” I said.
Since then, my son has learned to be cautious and think twice rather than being bold.
Control one’s urges
When my son was six-years-old we walked by McDonalds after school.
“Dad, McDonalds!” he said. “Ah, McDonalds! You want to get something to eat there, right? My son, it’s easy when you want something, and you go out and get it. Anyone can do that. But if you can control your urges and not buy it you’ll be a hero. Would you rather be an ordinary person or a hero?”
My son answered: “A hero.”
“You’re sure about that, right son?” I said.
“Daddy, I really do want to be a hero,” he said.
“Okay, hero, let’s go home!” I replied
Ever since then my son has learned to control his urges, and not give in to temptation.
Choices and consequences
One day my eight-year-old son had a fight with his classmates and came home crying. He felt wronged by his classmates and responded with immense anger.
“What do you plan to do? Do you want Daddy to help you?” I asked him.
“Daddy, find me a brick, and I want to hit them from behind tomorrow.”
“I see, I can do that. Anything else?”
“Daddy, get me a knife, I want to stab them from behind.”
“Good! This way you can vent more anger. Daddy can get it for you.”
I went upstairs to get the things ready. My son seemed to calm down a bit.
About 20 minutes later, I brought him a lot of clothes and blankets that I had gathered.
“Son, have you made up your mind, brick or knife?”
“But, Dad, why are you bringing me so many clothes and blankets?” .
“My son, it’s like this: if you hit him with a brick, the police will take us both away for about a month in prison, so we’ll take some jackets and blankets with us. If you use a knife and stab him, we’ll be in prison for at least three years, so we’ll have to take more clothes with us for all four seasons, right? That’s the law. So you decided and Daddy is willing to support you! ”
“Dad, we have not done that, right?!” my son replied.
“But son, you’re very angry about it,” I said.
“Hey, Dad, I’m not angry any more, and in fact, I was wrong,” my son blushed.
“Well, Daddy supports you!”
Since then my son has learnt about making the right choices and consequences.
Be a gentleman
At 9-years-old my son was failing his fourth grade math class and became depressed. “How did this happen? You failed your math test.”
“Because I hate my math teacher, her class is boring.”
“Oh, really, I want to learn a little more.” I was very interested.
He said a lot, but it boiled down to that his teacher disliked him.
“Oh, I see. When someone likes you, you like her; when she dislikes you, you hate her. Are you an active or a passive person?”
“A passive person!” my son replied.
“Are you a strong person, or a weak person? A gentleman or an ordinary person?” I continued to ask.
“I am weak, and an ordinary person!” my son replied.
“What do you want to be, a gentleman or an ordinary person?” I asked him.
“A gentleman. Daddy, I know now! Whether my teacher likes me or dislikes me, I can like her, respect her, and be a strong person.”
The next day, my son happily went to school. Ever since then his mathematics skills have improved, and he has learnt the difference between being a gentleman and an ordinary person.
When my son was 10-years-old, he was obsessed with playing computer games. His mother had spoken to him many times to no avail. One day I said to him: “Son, I heard that you love to play games.” He admitted it and lowered his head.
I asked him: “How do you feel after each game?”
“Lost, empty, bored and ashamed,” he said.
“Then, why play? You can’t help it, right?” I asked him.
“Yes, Daddy,” he replied.
“Good! Let Daddy help you!” I put the computer in front of my son, and handed him a little hammer.
“Son, smash it!” I said.
“Daddy!” My son was confused.
“Smash it! Daddy will be fine without a computer, but not without a son,” I said.
My son cried after he smashed the computer. He had learnt the meaning of principles.
Talk to mom
When my son was 11-years-old, my wife and I lived in a foreign country, and he stayed with my mother.
I called her every day to send greetings. One day, my son answered the phone: “Hello, Daddy!” he said.
“Good,” I replied, “where is grandma, let me talk to her.”
“Daddy, why do you call grandma every day?” he asked.
“Do you think that’s strange? But she’s my mom!” I replied.
“What about me? I also like to talk to you!” he said.
“You find your mother and talk to her,” I told him.
Ever since then, my wife has received a call from our son every day at 6 am, rain or shine — it’s been 8 years!
Let go of little things and do what you should do
When my son was 12-years-old, he was burnt out from a lot of homework and was filled with anxiety. One evening he walked into the house and my sister said: “Hey, buddy, you broke my plate yesterday.”
“No way, I did not!” he replied.
My mother added her own comment: “I saw you, and you did it!”
“I didn’t! You’ve wronged me!” My son was lying on the floor and crying.
Five minutes later, I came out of the room and asked: “What is going on here?”
“Dad, aunt, and grandmother have wronged me!” he cried.
“So, big deal, someone has wronged you; you feel defeated and cry on the floor. You’re not a man! A real man will stand up even the sky caves in, but you cry over a broken plate. The worst is yet to come. All the way through life you will be wronged, betrayed, and humiliated. So, you want to stay on the floor and cry when things don’t go your way, right?”
My son stood up with his back straight, and he said: “Dad, I understand, now what should I do?”
“Now ask yourself, do you have a lot of spare time, or a lot of homework to do? Just remember, ignore the little things, and finish what you should do.”
My son picked up his bag, bowed to his aunt and grandma, and calmly went to his room.
All three of us smiled. I hope that one day when my son recalls this incident, he will understand our good intentions.
Translated research by Monica Song and Kathy McWilliams