Written by Hao Le
Edited by Linda Lin
As Thomas H. Palmer once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”. These are the words I think of in times of stress and turmoil. These are the words my parents have instilled into me, again and again. Whenever I feel crushed under the weight of my responsibilities, my parents’ advice comes back, without fail, to remind me that I have the ability to achieve anything I wish. Even now, after all these years, their advice is still part of me.
Parents play a huge role in the development of their children – both physically and mentally. More importantly, though, parents are the ones who teach their children about morality and values. What is important in life? What is it that we hold dearest to our hearts? We learn all of this from our parents. And that is precisely why parents must develop their own morals.
Imagine a child, for example, who has never been taught the value of hard work. Instead, they have learned simply to rely on their own intelligence to cruise their way through school. This child will not develop proper study habits, nor will they learn to put any effort into their work. Their marks may start off decently high, but will almost certainly decrease as the workload gets heavier, and the course material gets harder. Once this happens, the child will be left unprepared to handle the situation in which they now find themselves – all because they had not learned early on how learn and work properly.
Now imagine a different child – a child whose parents have always emphasized the value of hard work. This child, whether or not they start off with a large amount of natural intelligence, will know to pace themselves and learn concepts as soon as they are brought up. This child will tackle their homework in an attempt to learn, rather than simply to get good grades. As time goes on, this child will achieve more and more, all because of their wonderful work ethic ingrained in them by their parents. This child, then, will have a bright future with endless possibilities.
An individual’s morals shape who they eventually become. Without morals, individuals have no sense of right or wrong – of what is acceptable and what is not. A parent without a sense of morals will fail to teach their children to distinguish between right and wrong, leaving these children to fall through the cracks. It is, then, a parent’s duty to develop their own morals so that they may teach their children to grow up and, in turn, become responsible adults with strong moral convictions. Through the development of their own morals, parents are able to act as role models for their children, showing them behaviours they hope their children will possess. This modelling not only helps children understand how they should behave in different situations, but also strengthens parents’ own beliefs and values. This development helps parents reinforce their own convictions, and in doing so, allows children to pick up on and adopt these convictions as their own.
It is clear, then, that parents must develop their own morals in order to help their children become successful and moral adults. After all, children copy what they see, and if their parents act in a morally responsible way, their children will follow.