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兒童的問題在那裡?
Where Does the Children's Problem Lie?

宣公上人一九九四年五月二十九日開示於法界聖城
A Dharma Talk by the Venerable Master Hua at the City of Dharma Realm on May 29, 1994
童佼     記錄     Transcribed by Tong Jiao

這個兒童的問題不在兒童那兒,是在哪兒呢?是在家庭裡邊。

人人都很自私的,只是顧自己的家庭。結婚兩天半,三天不夠,就離婚了,又結婚。這離婚率太多了,家庭破碎,才有這問題兒童發生;如果家庭不破碎,做父母的好好照顧子女,不是那麼盡出去為著賺錢,把子女都不管了。父母能養子女,不能教子女,令子女很多問題發生,所以這個問題不是在兒童那兒。兒童那兒發生問題,那已經到末梢了。

我們想要解決兒童的問題,要先從家庭裡著手。就是父母都得負起教育子女的責任,不能說自由,就隨他願意怎麼樣就怎麼樣!可是兒童你若不管他,「近朱者赤,近墨者黑。」「染於蒼則蒼,染於黃則黃。」他是隨著這個環境所轉的。你叫他自由發展,發展來發展去,就發展到殺人放火、走私販毒,所以這是自由發展的一種漏洞。可以說,自由發展是有限度的,不應該叫小孩子太隨便了。尤其這國家(美國)的法律,父母一管子女,子女就去報告警察,把父母就抓去坐監獄。

我相信父母生小孩子,他不會虐待自己的孩子。就管一點啊,這都是應該有限度的管教,不應該碰也不敢碰,說也不敢說,這是未免把小孩子都縱壞了。就像枝叉從樹長出來,你若沒把它修理去,將來這樹只可以燒火;你若把枝叉都修理去了,將來這樹能頂千斤、擔萬載,做棟樑之材,都可以的。所以,小孩子要細心的教育。

The children's problem does not lie with the children. Where does it lie then? It lies with the families.

People are very selfish. They only care for their own families. After getting married for two and a half days, not even three, they get divorced and then marry again. As a result of the high divorce rate and many broken families, we have problem children. If the families didn't break up, then parents could take good care of their children. They wouldn't be busy making money outside and leaving the children to take care of themselves. Since parents give birth to children and raise them, but cannot teach them, children encounter a lot of problems. Therefore, the problem is not with the children. When children encounter problems, it's already too late!

If we want to solve the children's problem, then we must start with the family. That is, both the father and mother should take the responsibility of educating their children. You cannot say, "To give them freedom means to let them do whatever they want!" If you don't discipline them, then "Those who draw near rouge turn red; those who draw near ink turn black," and "Those dyed in blue become blue; those dyed in yellow become yellow." Children are influenced by their environment. If you allow them to develop freely without any guidance and discipline, they may develop inclinations for killing, arson, smuggling, and drug peddling. That's the problem with free development. Free development is acceptable within certain limits. We shouldn't let children have their own way completely. Under the laws of this country, as soon as parents try to discipline their children, the children can report them to the police and have them arrested and imprisoned.

I believe that since parents gave birth to their children, they wouldn't be willing to abuse them. Even if they were to discipline them a little, they would do it with discretion. It shouldn't be the case that parents don't even dare to touch their own children, or scold them. That would certainly spoil the children. If you don't trim the branches that grow from a tree, the tree will only be good for firewood. However, if you trim the tree well, then the tree will be able to hold great weight for tens of thousands of years and even suitable for making pillars. Therefore, we should teach our children with care.

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