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Researcher Comments on Cultural-Clash in Chinese Families

( [email protected] ) Jul 23, 2007 06:31 AM EDT
Rev. Peter Lam from Asian Families Today gave guidance to Chinese parents on how to talk to the second generation in the midst of cultural clash.
Rev. Peter Lam (right) and his wife (left) greets participants at the podium in The Salvation Army Chinatown center in San Francisco, CA on July 21, 2007. (The Gospel Herald / Hudson Tsuei)

SAN FRANCISCO- Rev. Peter Lam from Asian Families Today gave guidance to Chinese parents on how to talk to their second-generation children while dealing with the culture-clash that is prevalent in Chinese homes.

At the Salvation Army center in Chinatown, the renowned family-researcher led a series of tracks that has steadily gained popularity. Following last week’s lecture about the three principles in communicating with children -- which is to "correct, rebuke, encourage" -- Rev. Lam discusssed about the attitude parents should have when speaking to sons and daughters.

First, he said, parents should always seek opportunities to teach.

When children misbehave, Chinese parents seldom have time away from their jobs to talk to their children about it immediately, Rev. Lam pointed out, while suggesting that parents to find a way to remind themselves what they need to teach to their children to not lose the opportunity.

Second, Rev. Lam reminded parents to have patience and to be careful in their attitude.

"Since most Chinese parents are too busy to discipline their children, they often lose [ their]tempers easily whenever children make mistakes," Rev. Lam said.

He added that parents "think three times before they speak", as quoted from Proverbs 12:18 "the Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing".

Studies suggest that children who are introverted often hide pain and suffering -- especially after being hurt by parent’s words -- leading some individuals towards depression and suicidal-tendency.

Rev. Lam encouraged parents to "learn from the heart of the Father God" which is "full of grace and mercy."

"From Psalms 103:8-9 'The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever,'" Rev. Lam emphasized, whil urging parents to be more understanding and slow to angry.

"In many cases, children start to become more rebellious because they feel that parents do not even understand their situation before complaining and scolding," he added.

"Scolding is not a solution, we should always find opportunity for children to truly learn and grow. If they do well, you should show appreciation and compliment them, and you should never harbor anger," Rev. Lam said further.

"The fact that you feel angry with your children is because you love them, however, love should be expressed in a right way, just like the Father God, you must always show grace and mercy."

Speaking to children requires the correct attitude of helping them "correct their mistakes instead of just criticizing their wrong actions," said the reverend. "Parents must make sure children build up a righteous character and values."

"Educate your children according to the scripture, which is the truth of all truths," Rev. Lam said. "Character formation must be started from childhood, and not from adolescence. As Proverbs 22:6 says ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.’"

Rev. Lam concluded by emphasizing the importance of speaking with the right attitude since words remain in people’s heart for long periods of time and may affect their entire life.

He once again exhorted parents to be more patient and understanding, and to speak carefully, so that they may have a harmonious relationship with their children.