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零距离美语会话[家庭]Lesson 5




Five    You can’t change a child’s behavior by using force!

1   Introduction 
In America, children are well protected by law.  If parents beat or kick their kids and the police know that, the bruises on the kids can cause the parents to be put in jail.  Or sometimes the children will be separated from being with their parents and put in a social service, if the parents maltreat them.  Sometimes the parents are punished, even when they have not harmed a child, but the authorities believe the parents have done wrong.

2   Sample Sentences
1.  Have you ever asked your relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues at work about what kind of childcare do they use?
2. Does the kindergarten plan activities every day?
3. Are the children you see absorbed in what they are doing?
4. In general, the more adults there are, the more likely it is that your child will receive individual attention and adequate supervision at all times.
5. I know you want to have the feeling of security.
6. Regarding our son’s behavior, I suggest that he be treated with patience, affection, and respect.
7. Doug and Beth often threaten very quickly to punish their son if he behaves differently from their expectations. 
8. I think you already realize that punishment does not always produce good children, and many times harshness produces maladjusted children.
9. I assure you that the way to teach our boy to be a good person is for the adults around him to see the good in him.
10. Children learn to be happy by learning how to think.

3  Conversations
1. A Chinese wife is talking to her American husband about their young son’s bad behaviors on the phone.
A:  I don’t want you to be worried, but our son has some bad habits now.  He says painful words everyday.
B:  What words?  Can you tell me?
A:  He says “kick mommy, beat mommy, don’t want mommy” very quickly if I do something that he doesn’t like.  You know, if I wash his face or change his clothes, things like that.
B:  Honey, I don’t know what to tell you.  Of course Tony is a young child.  But do not underestimate1 his ability to learn and reason.
A:  Yes, but sometimes he is just not reasonable. 
B:  I suggest you treat him with patience, affection2, and respect. If he needs to do something, like go to bed, or be washed, etc., please "guide or help" him to get it done, but lead him with gentleness.
A:  It’s easy to say, but I will try.
B:  Motivate3 Tony to cooperate4 by rewarding5 his good behavior.  Do not emphasize punishment for bad moods, etc.  Do not threaten6 him with punishment if he resists7 the actions you desire.
A:  I know my parents sometimes threaten to punish him.  But this doesn’t work; instead he picks up another bad habit.

2.   Talking about punishment for young kids.
Chinese:  Paul, you were also a parent of young kids before. So, can you tell me what you did when your kids didn’t behave very well?
American:  I know Mark is your only child.  You may do it differently from what I did.  Sometimes I would tap8 their hands when they made troubles.
Chinese:  I do it, too.  You know, sometimes when we eat, my child would pull a dish towards him and grab9 it with his hands and eat.  And if it were something he doesn’t like, he would spit it out and throw it into other dishes.  He does it very often.  I really get mad.  I can’t help spank10 him sometimes.
American:  And what does your husband do?
Chinese:  My husband is an American.  He criticizes me when I do that.  He says that I can’t change a child’s behavior by using force.  He is learning what I am doing now. 
American:  But spoiling11 a child is not going to do him good either! You’ve got to have patience with him and teach him.  It’s not easy, I know.  It’s hard.
Chinese:  Yeah.  I’m still learning how to control his behavior and my temper.   My child is almost two years old, and I’ve learnt the “distraction” 12 technique when he cries for something.

Additional Information:
 Actually parents shouldn’t punish their children too harshly.  It depends on what kind of thing the child has done.  Besides, the child might break something by accident or he didn’t mean it.  We should always give the child a chance to see his own mistakes. 


4  Words and Expressions
1. underestimate  低估; 对...估计不足 
2. affection  情爱, 钟爱
3. motivate  给...动机; 刺激
4. cooperate  合作, 协作 
5. reward  奖赏, 报偿
6. threaten  威胁, 恐吓
7. resist  抵抗, 反抗
8. tap 轻拍
9. grab 抓取, 霸占
10. spank  (用手掌)打...的屁股
11. spoil 宠坏, 溺爱
12. distraction  分心, 注意力分散

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