外在坚强并内心感恩: 在疫情期间近距离做父母 Thick Skin & Gracious Hearts: Close-Quarter Parenting During Days of Quarantine

Posted by

(Shanghai Zoo: Photo taken by Jason Glen)

(I first published this in 2016, but it remains relevant for every year, especially for these days in China when parents have a unique obligation to be a more intimate part of their children’s educational experience at home. The Coronavirus has placed millions of Chinese families in situations that they have never been in before, as they are asked to help facilitate their child’s whole educational day at home while quarantined. It’s a unique opportunity to help form and bless their children in ways that they may have never had access to.)

First world, media consuming parents, 2015 was a year that made many of us even more pessimistic about what kind of world our children will inherit. Many of us have been blessed with a lifestyle, sense of security, and level of comfort that has insulated us from the anxiety that the majority of people in the world face on a far more consistent basis.  Even though history has shown that the United States has had a far more problematic and conflict driven past than the talking heads and deceptive pundits would like to admit, the once predominant Judeo-Christian culture in the United States did provide a more stable, and broadly shared, worldview for several generations in the 19th and 20th centuries.

世界的媒体正在吞噬家长们,2015年让我们很多人对将来我们的下一代们会继承到一个怎样的世界更加悲观。我们当中大部分人都有幸具备一定程度的舒适、安全意识和一种生活方式能够使我们避开世界上大多数人正在面临的焦虑。尽管如此,历史已经表明美国已经比过去一些权威专家所认为的情况更加充满冲突和问题,美国过去的犹太基督教文化确实提供了一个稳固而且广泛被19和20世纪的世代所接纳的世界观。

Times have been quickly changing. Over the last couple of decades, pop culture has conformed to an uneasy reflection of pluralistic relativism, which tries to please everyone while grounding no one. Some prominent sociologists have observed that this drift in culture has now produced a new religion that our young people are tempted to unconsciously buy into: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (Soul Searching by Christian Smith & Melina Lundquist Denton). Some sociologists have also reported on the increase of narcissistic personality disorders (The Narcissism Epidemic by Jean M. Twenge & W. Keith Campbell). The widely respected MIT sociologist Sherry Turkle pointed to our technology saturated society, and social media consumption as causal factors in some of the before mentioned social changes (Alone Together by Sherry Turkle). These sociologists are pointing to sociological factors that I believe are deforming the generations. It seems that our children’s hearts are only growing harder, and their skin thinner. We can no longer look to public education structures, or the moral messaging of pop culture to safely partner with us in the healthy formation of our children’s character.

时代一直都在快速变化。在过去的几十件里,流行文化已经走向一个难以反思的多元相对论,这种做法试图来满足每个人,事实上却难以达到任何人的要求。一些社会学家已经发现这一文化潮流现今已经产生了年轻人正在无意识地进入的一种宗教:道德治愈自然神学(参见克里斯蒂安·史密斯和梅琳娜·伦德奎斯特·丹顿合著的《探索心灵》Soul Searching , Christian Smith & Melina Lundquist Denton)。也有一些社会学家报到了自恋型人格混乱的增长趋势(参见琼·M·腾格和W·基斯·坎贝尔合著《自恋时代》The Narcissism Epidemic , Jean M. Twenge & W. Keith Campbell)。广受敬重的麻省理工学院社会学家雪莉·特克尔(Shirley Turkel)指出我们的科技已经在轰炸社会,而社交媒体的使用是上述的社会变化的病因 (参加雪莉·特克尔著《与孤独相伴》Alone Together) 。我认为这些社会学家所指出的社会因素正在使我们的而下一代发生畸变。看起来是我们的下一代的正在内心更加刚硬,脸皮越来越薄。我们不能寄望于把公办的教学体系或者进行道德灌输的流行文化当做培养健康下一代的安全合作对象。

My observations and propositions are made from a Christian worldview, and thus my advice will center on nurturing our children to walk in the way of Christ in a world that I believe is increasingly hostile to our beliefs and values. As a college educator, I have consistently interacted with a high percentage of students over the past 5 years who do not shows signs of having the necessary character and attributes to successfully maintain their Christian worldview while engaging with a deformative culture. There are no neutral citizens in reference to worldview and culture. Our children will be ambassadors of some worldview whether we like it or not. It is my hope that we can more adequately equip our children to be ambassadors of Christ. Never before have our children and we had so many resources to increase our knowledge of godliness, and yet we are faced with far more temptations than at any time in history. With this in mind, I’d like to propose some methods for nurturing gracious hearts and thicker skin in our children. Some of these ideas might be seen as rudimentary or mundane, but their consistent exercise frames the body, mind, and soul. I’ve included a few things that I wrote about in a prior post about fathering. If you feel like you can add to the discussion, I’d love your feedback. Here are the 10 prominent principles that came to mind:

我的观察和提议是从一个基督徒的世界观来看,因此我的建议以跟随基督的方式作为养育孩子为核心,尽管当今的世界对我们的基督信仰和价值观越发充满敌意。作为大学教育者,我在过去五年内接触到相当高比率的不具备基本的品格并把成功维持基督徒世界观与畸形的文化混为一谈学生。在有关世界观和文化的领域里没有中立的公民。我们的孩子将作为驻外大使代表一些世界观,不论我们喜欢还是厌恶这种世界观。我希望我们能够更充分教育我们的孩子成为基督国度的大使。虽然我们比以往有更多关于敬虔的知识,但是,我们却面临着比以往任何时代有更多试探。从这一点出发,我提议几点来培养孩子们具有感激之心和更坚强的承受力。有一些点可能看起比较过于简单或平淡无奇,但持续坚持使用这些训练将会对身、心和灵都有益处。我把之前发布的博文里一些关于父亲的职责的内容放到里面。如果你想增加更多讨论,我很乐意听到你的反馈。以下是10条我所想到的原则:

I. Consistent CONVERSATION with your children about your hopes, convictions, failures, and successes. This conversation must be characterized by a level of honesty that the children can both understand and trust. There is certainly a line between placing your burdens on your children, and empowering them by showing them that you too have carried, or continue to carry burdens. Since a couple of my daughters are still young, I speak in terms of “bad mistakes,” “sinful habits,” and a “darkness that was in my soul.” I’m also open to share with them that “I too struggle with sinful desires,” and “am still tempted” with things that I know are not healthy for me. I share more specifics with my two teenage daughters, but nothing I feel will be too weighty for them to deal with emotionally at this stage of their lives.

1、持续地跟你的孩子谈论你的希望、确信、失败和成功。这些对话必须具备坦诚到能够让孩子能够理解并信任的特征。也要把握好给孩子了解到你正在面对的一些负担的尺度,让他们意识到他们也需要自己承受,或者继续承担你的负担。由于我的几个女儿还很小,我用“糟糕的错误”“罪性的习惯”或者“我心灵的黑暗面”这些用语。我也放开跟她们谈论“我也跟自己心灵里的欲望争斗”和“仍然受到的引诱”来说我清楚对我的不宜的事。我跟两个十几岁的女儿讨论更对具体的事,但不会跟她们说在她们的年龄段感情上不能承受的内容。

2. Assign consistent CHORES that you hold them accountable to. Assigning them without accountability might actually be worse than never assigning them at all. Make sure to converse with them about the importance of investing in people and places that bless people. For instance, help them see how a clean house is inviting to visitors and healthier for everyone’s mind. You may want to use another word than “chores” that communicates a deeper understanding of the responsibilities. And it is critical to join them in their investments from time to time, and to invite them to join you in your investments from time to time.

2、持续布置你认为他们能够负责的的家务。给他们布置不需负责的家务还不如不要给他们家务。确保要跟他们讲过投入职责带来的意义。例如,让他们知道一个整洁的房间对于邀请客人和每个人的心境健康的作用。你可能会想要使用另外词语替代“家务”一词来表示对于责任的更好的理解。不时地参与到他们投入的事情当中很关键,同样邀请他们参与到你所投入的事情当中也是一样。

As an important side note, it is healthier for their wellbeing if they are given opportunities to invest in outside environments and get their hands dirty in nature. Cyberspace may be a trending virtual meeting place, but it is not our home. We are embodied creatures who are healthiest when we engage the ground from which we were formed.

作为一个重要的边注:让他们有机会参与户外环境并让他们的手在自然环境中变脏对于他们来说更为健康。网络可能增加虚拟的交往空间,但是在我们家不是这样的。我们是具体的个人,当我们接触到我们所出自的泥土时,我们会更加健康。

3. CULTIVATE RESPECTFUL postures in them. All things being equal, children will grow to value what you consistently value. Show them the value of people by holding them accountable to formal standards of respectful language and gestures when interacting with adults and peers. A teacher made fun of my brother when we lived in Michigan because my brother used the terms “yes sir,” and “yes ma’am.” That teacher did not value the respect that my brother was showing her, but that respect has served my brother well as he has climbed through the ranks of law enforcement and the military. I don’t know many, if any, neighbors that have complained that our children are “too polite.”

3、培养他们学会尊重。总体来说,孩子们长大后会更加看重你不断要他们看重的东西。通过让他们用正确的方式:肢体语言和口头用语来跟成人和同龄人互动,从中让他们学会尊重。当我们在密歇根上学的时候,一个老师曾嘲弄我的哥哥一直用“好的,先生”“好的,女士”这样的礼貌用语来回答她问题。那个老师并没有很好看重我的兄弟所表现出来的尊重,但是这个尊重的态度一直陪着他升迁过执法部门和军队里的各个阶层。我并不曾接触到一些会抱怨我们孩子“太礼貌”的邻居。

Also, everyone has that friend that is uncomfortable with being approached with this level of verbal respect (Some say that it makes them feel old). Don’t let that person dictate to your children how they will be addressed. Just because I didn’t vote for President Obama, doesn’t mean I’m going to have my kids running around calling him Barack. Everyone needs to decide what that standard is going to be, but it needs to be consistent based on relational dynamics. Even though my kids call some of our close adult friends “Uncle First Name” does not mean they no longer speak to that man with respect. You want to foster an unwavering respect for humanity, and especially for those who have lived this life for a significantly longer period of time.

同样,每个人都有这样一个对口头礼貌用语觉得不舒服的朋友(有些人说那让他们觉得很老)。不要让那样的人教你的孩子应该如何称呼他们。正如我不给奥巴马总统投票,不代表我会让我的孩子们到处直呼他的名字:巴拉克。每个人都要决定使用什么标准,但是这需要取决于所处的关系动力。尽管我的孩子称呼用名字我的亲近成年朋友为“某某叔叔”,这并不代表他们不再尊重那个人。你想要培养的是坚定的尊重,特别是对于那些值得注意的长者。

4. Cultivate them to CARE for their siblings, friends, neighbors, and broader community members. Respect can certainly be seen as a type of care, but a broader sense of empathy is not always something that children naturally pick up. To think of the other first is the foundation of friendship, marriage, and our relationship with Christ for that matter. As with most of these suggestions, you must set the example for them from day 1. Praying for the health and livelihood of all the before mentioned people is an easy way to start orienting their minds towards the other.  Also teach them the great value of HOSPITALITY. Inciting satisfaction and comfort in the soul of a guest is an accomplishment that fosters inner joy. When properly guided, nurturing this habit and gifting in your children can lead to a lifetime of strong relationships, edifying experiences, and inviting spaces. Teach your children to carry such value with them, so that they can share it on the go. That’s what thinking of the other empowers; it allows one to see how the other can be blessed by you and your gifting whether at home or on the go. Foster this posture in your children through trips to nursing homes, orphanages, soup kitchens, and even to prisons as your children grow into adults. Your money must speak just as loud as your mouth and actions. Show them who you value with your money.

4、培养他们关爱兄弟姐妹、朋友、邻居和更为广义的社区成员。诚然尊重可以当成是一种关爱,但是更广义的同情并不是孩子可以自然而然就会的。先为别人考虑是建立友谊、婚姻和甚至我们跟基督的关系的重要环节。就像所有的建议那样,你必须从第一天就为她们设立好榜样。在提及别人之前先为别人的健康和生计而祷告是一种自然地建立为别人着想的方法。也要教给他们好客的重要性。达到客人的满意有助于培养孩子内心喜乐。如果有适当的引导,保持这一习惯和特性可以带给孩子一生的人际关系、增长见识。教会孩子持受这些价值,让他们学会把这些价值分享给别人。这是为别人考虑的意义:它使人别人不论是在家或者在外通过你和你的特长被祝福。可以通过带孩子去养老院、孤儿院、救济站,甚至当他们长大成人以后带去监狱来培养这一姿态。要在花钱上面使用跟你所说和你所做的同样的力度。让他们看到你如何使用钱表达你的重视。

5. Consistent DISCIPLINE for rebelliousness and disobedience. Discipline is not punishment. Proper discipline is the execution of a strategic consequence meant to train and educate. Our children need to understand that laws and boundaries are in place for healthy reasons. Don’t just go after your child in anger. Most parents are guilty of overreacting to a situation and yelling at their kids. I know I’ve been guilty of that. The healthiest thing we can do is to sit our child down and communicate clearly the principle/rule that has been violated and that the discipline that is to come is done in love, and done for the purpose of healthy formation. Consistency is CRITICAL in the realm of discipline. You don’t want your child to live in an unhealthy fear of an unknown consequence. Nor do you want your child to distrust your intentions to follow through with the disciplinary actions. When they know you are going to waver, they will press.

5、持续地对孩子的不顺服进行管教。管教不等同于惩罚。适当的管教是有策略得给以一些旨在训练和教育的后果。孩子们应当知道:规则和界限是为了他们的益处而设定的。不要再恼怒之中处置孩子。大多数父母为自己过度的反应和大声呵斥感到罪疚,我曾经就是那样感到负疚。最有益的方式就是让孩子坐下来,跟他们交流他们的过失,以及相应的在爱里的以教育为目的的管教。持续连贯对于管教非常关键。你不希望自己的孩子活在一个莫名的恐惧和不知原因的后果当中。你也不希望孩子不理解你管教行为背后的原因。当他们知道你要动摇的时候,他们会闹得更加起劲。

Always be aware of the laws in your state concerning different types of discipline. If legal in your state, never execute corporal discipline in anger, or to the extent that you injure the child. Communicate your love before and after the discipline is enacted. Never discipline the child beyond a level that they can physically, mentally, or emotionally cope with. You are looking to educate and train their will, not destroy their will.

当你要进行不同类型的管教时,要考虑到你所在的地区的法律。如果你所在的州法律不允许,就不要带有怒气进行或可能会伤害到孩子的范围的体罚。在管教之前和之后都要带着爱跟孩子沟通。绝对不要管教到一个地步以至于孩子会从身体、情感或者思想上跟你不配合。你是要找到一个训练他们的意志的办法,而不是摧毁他们意志力的办法。

6. Get them out into CULTURE and walk the world with them. Be CAREFUL what you expose them to too early, but increasingly allow them access to view consequences of the harsher, more transgressive aspects of life. Teach them to listen and observe without overreacting or becoming numb to the brokenness they engage. Talk them through it. Ask them questions. Show them the beauty and grace that is present even though pain and hardship reside there. Let them know how you have appropriately and inappropriately dealt with some of these same situations in life. As they grow older, talk about how they might join and serve people who find themselves in those circumstances, and offer what safe opportunities you can for them to actualize those ideas. Work against fear.

6、把他们带到现实当中,并且跟他们一同处在那个环境当中。要当心不要让他们过早接触,但是要不断允许他们看到生活中触犯规则更为严酷的一面。教他们学会聆听和观察,既不过度反应,也不会在他们所关心的事情上变得麻木。跟他们交谈,问他们问题。尽管会存在历痛苦和艰难仍然要让他们看到当下环境中的恩典和美好。让他们知道你是如何合适和不适宜地对待过生命的处境。当他们长大一些,跟他们讲他们应当如何在不同的处境中服侍和与人合作,并尽可能让他们在安全的前提下实现这些想法。合作起来对抗惧怕。

7.  CELEBRATE life in front of them and with them. I can be an animated person so this one comes easier to me, but I know that many parents are introverts and weighed down by the burdens of life. It’s the normative weight of adult life that makes it even more critical to intentionally celebrate the accomplishments, victories, creativity, and moments of awe that your child brings to your table. If you have trouble participating in the celebrations of your children, then chances are you need a perspective change in your own life. I know the sense of wonder I get when I look at the green mountains and valleys of Tennessee and North Carolina. I know the celebration of scoring a goal and building a fort. I know the awe produced by a stormy evening. I invite my children into these moments of enjoyment and wonder and they invite me into theirs.

7、在他们面前并一同欢庆生命。我可能是一个比较活泼的人,这一点对于我来说很容易做到,但是我知道很多父母很内向或者是被生活中的重担压垮了。正因生活中的重担,我们成年人更加应当在获得成绩、胜利、创造力和孩子们向你问到他们所讶异的事时刻意去庆祝。如果你在参与孩子的庆祝上存在困难那么你应该改变一下自己的生命的视角。我知道自己看到田纳西州和北卡莱罗纳州的绿山谷的那种惊讶,我知道进球得分和建筑一个堡垒的欢庆是什么。我知道一个暴风雨的夜晚带来的惊讶。我邀请孩子们来到这些愉快或者惊讶的活动当中,他们也邀请我体验他们的生命。

8.  CARRY a ready sense of GRATITUDE and FORGIVENESS in your hands, and teach your children to do likewise. For the rest of my life I’ll continue to drive home the point that “sorry” is not the same as “will you forgive me.” This principle is amplified in the ears of children. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful gifts you can offer someone, and asking for forgiveness can be the most meaningful request to make of another. Not every disagreement or transgression between my wife and me is helpful for my children to know about, but it’s important for them to see me ask her to forgive me when I wrong her in their presence. It’s even more important for me to be willing to own up to the moments when I have sinned against them, and then humbly ask them to forgive me. It doesn’t solve every problem or heal every wound, but it shows the child that you value them as a person, made in the image of God. It shows them that love seeks reconciliation where it can be had, and that parental authority is not built on the façade of perfection. In addition to forgiveness, few things are more powerful in this world than a sense of gratitude. Being truly thankful for something is definitely empowered by one’s perspective on life. If you think that you deserve every good thing that you work for or that comes your way, then there is a good chance that gratitude is foreign to you. If it is foreign to you, then it will be hard for your children to learn it by watching your life. We are owed nothing by the world, and every good thing is a gift from God. Our children watch us in the hard times and the easy times, waiting to see if we will shake a fist at or extend a “thank you” to our government, neighbor, and God.

8、随时带着一种感恩和宽恕的心态,并且教会孩子也这样做。我会一直努力要说明“对不起”和“你会原谅我吗”不是同一个观念。这一观点在孩子们的耳朵里会被放大。宽恕是你能给人的最重的礼物,恳求宽恕是你所做的最有意义的请求。并非我和妻子的不同意见和过失都需要让孩子们知道,但是当他们见到我做错时当他们的面请她的饶恕非常重要。这不能解决所有的问题,也不能医治所有的伤害,但这样让他们看出来你尊重他们作为人的存在——他们是按照神的形象造的。为着某些事真实地感恩必然影响到这个人的人生视角。如果你认为非常好的东西应按照你的方式来或者你所做的东西应得更好的回馈,感恩对于你来说就会非常陌生。如果,它对你来说非常陌生,就很难你的孩子看着你的生活变得懂得感恩。这个世界绝对不欠我们什么动,每一样美善的恩赐都是从神而来的。在困境和顺境中,我们的孩子都在看着我们,等着看到我们是向政府、邻居或者是神挥拳头还是说“谢谢”。

9. Watch their CONSUMPTION of social media, video gaming, and screen-time closely. There are plenty of studies out right now on the malformation that takes place in a child’s brain from too much screen time. On top of that, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, there is solid evidence that too much social media interaction raises the potential of personality disorders in you and your children. If you teach a child to carve something out of wood, crochet, weave, paint, draw, play an instrument, or craft awesomeness…they’ll most likely want to spend time doing that in addition to a little video game playing. But YOU have to sponsor and support that sort of learning.

9、紧密观察他们花费在网络社交媒体、电子游戏和屏幕的时间。相当一部分的报道指出过多的看电子屏幕对他们的大脑产生不良影响。最重要的是,正如本文前面提到,可靠的证据表明过多的使用网络社交媒体增加成人和孩子人格混乱的可能性。如果你教孩子去学雕刻、编织、纺织、油画、绘画、演奏乐器或者手工等,除了打游戏,他们就将会想要花时间在那些事情上。但你必须要赞助、支持那项学习。

10. Several of the points already mentioned play into this principle, but it’s one that needs to stand-alone nonetheless. Teach your children to have CONTEMPT for their CONTEMPT. Life gives us plenty of opportunities to criticize others, and it can be easy to simply categorize someone else as less than us, as unwise, or as heartless. Our children hear us in the kitchen as we chat after work. They hear us in the car as we converse on long trips. They learn to think of others as worse than themselves. We have turn that habit around in our own lives, and then teach them to engage their elders, peers, and siblings with a “better than one’s self” perspective. Having contempt for your contempt nurtures both grace, and thick skin at the same time.

10、前面提到的一些点跟这条原则有相通之处,尽管如此,下面的这一点应该单独列出。教会孩子轻看自己的轻视。生活中我们有很多机会去批评别人,这就很容易把别人看得不如自己聪明,不如自己细心。我们的孩子们会听到我们工作之余在厨房里的谈话。他们也听到我们在长途旅行的汽车上的交谈。他们学会了把别人看的比自己更差。我们已经把这一习惯带到了我们自己的生命当中,并把他们带到一个视角上去:看长辈、同辈、兄弟姐妹“比自己强”。轻看自己的轻视可以同时帮助培养感恩的心和外在的坚强。

Jason Truett Glen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s