Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Simplified)

【雙語園地】學習失敗!

 

作者:朱迪•庫克;翻譯:許建

生活有時充滿矛盾。對於父母,這樣的時刻尤其鮮活:我們愛自己蹣跚學步的孩子勝過一切,而當他們學會說 "不" 時,我們突然發現他們不再像原來那樣討人喜歡;我們認為自己十幾歲的孩子可愛,但當他們完全以自我為中心,對同伴麻木不仁,甚至蔑視我們這些養育他們的父母時,我們常常忍無可忍。

我們需要面對的問題是:如何肯定孩子的自我意識,幫助他們建立正確的價值觀,並教導他們應對生活中的不盡如人意。為了外界的某些原因,他們有時會被忽視;有時,他們的天賦得不到賞識;他們所追逐的夢想並非總是與他們的學業和個人能力相襯,畢竟不是每個想從醫的孩子最終都成為了一名醫生。有時,我們的孩子可能會犯下愚蠢的錯誤,因而造成了不堪設想的後果。而這一切的一切,都可能將他們好不容易才建立起來的自尊,擊得粉碎;在相當可觀的一段時期內,震驚和恐懼也因此在我們與孩子身上同時留下了深深的烙印。

2 至 12 歲

孩子主要從父母和監護人身上學會認識自己;當然,他們同時也從他們成長的社會文化中汲取養份。在這個年齡段,父母最難抗拒的誘惑是讓孩子認為自己遠勝過其他的孩子。事實上,把孩子放在這樣的基座上,並向他們傳達他們比任何人更聰明、更漂亮、更有天賦、更重要的信息,無疑是在害自己的孩子。當父母為他們犧牲一切時,孩子們錯以為他們便是世界的中心,其他人有義務滿足他們的需要。他們儼然是城堡中的國王和皇后。

西方文化對此起到了推波助瀾的效果。例如,流行文化在服裝、書籍和電影等方面極力將小女孩塑造成 "公主" 的形象,而男孩子則被塑造成戰無不勝、無所不能的超級英雄。

了解自己的孩子所認同的文化根源,父母和教育者就可以在價值觀和實際經驗上對年輕人產生更加合理的影響,讓他們適應現實世界。認識到奮鬥的必要性,並接受他們不是任何時候都能得到他們想要的一切。孩子應該從小學習如何接受失敗和面對未知的風險。他們需要學習在失敗時不馬上放棄,在挫折面前沉著勇敢。父母可以尋找一些有益的活動,以便鍛煉他們的品質。例如,3 歲的孩子可以開始試著了解他們並非總是比賽的贏家,即使輸了也沒什麼大不了的—因為比賽本身就是一種探險。

青少年

如何教養 12-18 歲的青少年,對父母們來說是一項特別的功課。這個階段,孩子們開始意識到自己獨立於父母和其他人之外。在矛盾中,他們正逐漸形成自我意識—他們在現實和自我意識中的形象—某個群體(他們的朋友和同伴)的一員。青少年似乎有其獨特的生活形態,而他們在各自的群體中又承受著巨大的壓力。他們蔑視生活中任何來自成人的干預,尤其當那樣的壓力是來自父母和老師的時候。他們認為成年人無法理解他們。同時,他們把同伴的意見、對他們的接納或者拒絕看得非常重要。那成了他們唯一的 "鏡子",不斷映射出他們的自我形象、在世界上的位置和生命的意義。

青少年的這種自我認同模式往往被大眾傳媒進一步渲染。而這無疑對父母們面前的難題火上澆油。當父母試圖保護自己的孩子時,青少年們往往對他們所提出的基督教倫理反唇相譏,這無疑讓本已沮喪的父母們感到更加惱火。面對孩子們的忤逆與任性,無數的父母感到絕望而且無助;他們從心里為他們孩子面前的人生道路而感到擔憂。在他們眼中,他們的孩子將要面對的不是迷失,就是毀滅。

但是,最新的一項對青少年大腦的研究給我們帶來了令人鼓舞的消息。這項研究的結果可以幫助我們更好地理解孩子們的行為。研究結果表明,作為引領青少年健康成長、走向成熟的一部分,許多父母開始學習如何幫助孩子們嘗試著經歷與他們同齡人不一樣的人生。

在《撫育休克:育兒新思維》中,珀. 布蘭森和阿希利.麥瑞満從一個全新的角度評價了青少年與父母的衝突。根據他們的主張,"青少年的大腦可以進行抽象思維,但是他們的情緒卻不能"。在他們所屬的特定群體中,他們懂得了什麼是失敗、恐懼和冒險;但這些經歷在還沒有內化成為他們人生的一部份之前,他們無法在該群體以外感受到同樣的情緒。很多時候,父母對於孩子們諸如 "你為什麼做這樣的蠢事?"的責問,使得孩子們與現實"世界"中的有關挫折的經歷失之交臂。孩子們在成長過程中沒有機會學習到什麼叫作失敗、冒險、和面對困難時所必需的不懈奮鬥。坦白講,即使是大難臨頭,孩子們也不會被嚇住;他們無需擔心的原因是因為他們被過度地呵護。在一個相對封閉的社區,特別是北美富裕白人的改革宗教會裡長大的孩子們便處於這麼一種極其不利的地位。

對大多數父母來說,試著讓孩子們到世界上去冒險,是一種挑戰;然而這種的嘗試卻有助於家長們因孩子而時刻緊繃的神經。就好像一個纖塵不染的環境不利於孩子們免疫系統的發育,同樣的,一個被過渡呵護的童年,也不利於鍛煉孩子們直面困難並克服它們的能力。像我們所有人一樣,以身作則對孩子們來說最有力教導。不管他們現在的情況如何,未來的道路又會怎樣;家長對他們的愛都應該是無條件的;然而這並不等於他們就不需要知道生活的艱辛。他們所要學習的是在逆境當中,依然可以戰勝困難、茁壯成長。

而對於孩子的這以訓練,會讓我們進一步了解上帝身為我們的天父,是持著一種怎麼樣的心情。祂不僅賜給我們恆久的愛和奇異的恩典,也讓我們在艱難磨礪中漸漸成長。當我們意識到這點時,"為什麼不幸會發生在好人身上?"這樣的問題,也就迎刃而解。而正因為這樣的原因,我們的孩子也跟我們一樣,需要在磨練中奮力成長。

福音的益處是,我們得以得著天父的應許,他告訴我們說,雖然我們會 "行在患難中",但是祂始終都會與我們同在(詩篇138)。事實上,當我們信靠祂時,我們生活中所發生的一切,就都成為了天父賜給我們的益處。曾幾何時,生活中的難題常常將我們和我們的孩子帶回到天父面前,正因為祂給了我們扎根在耶穌基督裡不變承諾,我們的心,由此得到了莫大的安慰!(原文最初刊登於《旌旗》雜誌,本文經雜誌社特許得以翻譯並轉載。)

Bilingo

 

Good Job! Learning to Fail

BY Judy Cook Translated by John lo Xu

Life is full of paradoxes. For parents this is especially the case: We love our toddlers above all else, but they drive us to distraction once they learn to say no. We think of our teens as adorable, but they can be completely self-absorbed, cruel to their peers, and disdainful of us, their parents—in other words, not pleasant to be around.

So here's the question: how do we affirm our kids' sense of self so they will develop a healthy self-esteem while at the same time teaching them the coping skills and resilience they'll need when life treats them unfairly or they mess up? They will sometimes be passed over for someone else.

Their talents will sometimes be underappreciated. Their passion for becoming, say, a doctor, will not always match their academic or personal abilities to achieve that goal. And sometimes our kids will make bad mistakes with unpleasant or even dire consequences. All these factors are capable of knocking a carefully nurtured self-esteem right out of the ballpark, at least for a time, much to our—and our children's—consternation and fear.

Ages 2 to 12

Children learn about themselves mostly from their parents and other caregivers, but they also take their cues from the culture they grow up in and the communities they are part of. The most common temptation to which parents fall prey is to teach their children, from about ages 2 to 12, that they are special—more special than anyone else. In fact, parents who put their kids on a pedestal and give them the message that that they are smarter, better-looking, more gifted, and more important than anyone else do their kids no favour. When parents sacrifice everything for their children, their kids learn that the world revolves around them and that it should conform to their needs. They experience themselves as "kings/queens of the castle."

Western culture often conspires to reinforce that notion. Pop culture for young girls, for instance, encourages them to identify with "princess" status by providing outfits, books, and movies in abundance that reinforce that identity. Boys are taught to identify with all-powerful superheroes who always win.

Parents and teachers do well to be conscious of the cultural stereotypes kids identify with and to balance their influence with values and experiences that help kids learn the necessity of fitting in, of working to achieve while accepting that they can't always have what they want. From a young age, kids need to learn to accept failure and risk-taking in the face of uncertainty. They need to learn not to give up too soon after having failed at something. And they need to learn to be gracious and courageous in the face of defeat. Parents can look for activities that teach their kids these values.

For instance, children as young as 3 can be taught they won't always win in a competitive game and that losing is OK too—the game itself rather than winning is the challenge.

Teens

Teens ages 12 to 18 often present a special challenge for parents. In this stage of their development, teens learn to know themselves as separate from their parents and others.

Paradoxically, they develop this separate identity—who they are and what they want to be—as part of the herd, namely, their friends and peer groups. Teen culture often seems to take on a life of its own. Kids appear to feel enormous pressure to belong to this social grouping. They seem to disdain the influence of any adults in their lives—mainly their parents and their teachers—and doubt its relevance. In contrast, they see the opinions and acceptance or rejection of their peers as the only important "mirror" that can tell them who they are, what their place is in the world, and whether their lives matter.

Social media seems to have further broadened peer identification. More often than not parents are frustrated because their teens incessantly argue against the rules they try to impose to keep their kids safe and to teach Christian morals. Parents end up feeling helpless in the face of their teens' apparent disrespect and self-will and fearful that the path their children are on will lead to alienation at best and destruction at worst.

But there is good news. New research on teen brains is helping parents better understand their teens' behaviour. As part of nurturing their teens to become mature and loving adults, parents are learning what they can do to give their kids experiences of the world beyond those within their kids' peer groups.

In their book Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children (Twelve, 2009), Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman talk about parent/teen conflict in a new way. The teenaged brain, they say, "can think abstractly, but not feel abstractly." Within their social groups, teens learn what it means to fail, to be afraid, to take risks. But they develop no such feelings outside of their social groupings because failure and resilience are not built in as part of their identify formation, in many cases because their parents are affluent enough to shield them from "the world" too well. So, for instance, parents may say to their teen, "What made you do such a stupid thing?" And because he or she has not been taught to fail, to take risks, to achieve in spite of obstacles, the honest answer may be, "You don't have to worry, everything's fine." Risky behaviour in the world doesn't scare many teens because their lives have been too sheltered. Children who grow up in insular communities, including the mostly white and affluent Christian Reformed Church in North America, are especially at a disadvantage.

Learning to let their children experience the world as it really is and letting them risk harm in that world is a challenge for parents. But it should also help them relax their vigilance on behalf of their children. In the same way that a too-clean, germ-free environment can actually hurt a child's developing immune system, a too-protected childhood can actually hurt a child's ability to face and overcome the hardships of life. Like all of us, children learn best by doing. Besides being unconditionally loved no matter who they are and what they will become, our children need to know life can be tough—but they can get through the difficulty and learn to thrive in spite of it.

This helps us understand how God parents all of us. The question "Why do bad things happen to good people?" is answered when we realize that God matures us not only through his unconditional love and amazing grace but also through the hardships we suffer. We are refined through these experiences, and so are our children.

The good news of the gospel is that God promises to be with us "in the midst of trouble" (Ps. 138). In fact, God will use everything that happens in our lives to our benefit if we choose to trust in him. More often than not, the hard lessons in life drive both us and our children back to a Father who has provided us with this no-fail guarantee in Jesus. What a relief!(Used with permission of The Banner.)

 

昔日真理報

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